You may have seen some of the most eccentric occasions or festivals across the world, but these unusual summer festivals need no introduction; they are just too weird for words.
The Pulilan Carabao Festival
An unusual event happens mid-May in the Philippines. Hundreds of carabao (water buffaloes) parade through the streets of Pulilan. Behind them, follow colorful floats and farming equipment. The purpose of this event is to celebrate their patron saint, San Isidro de Labrador. In preparation for the festival, the animals are cleaned and waxed to an ebony shine. Their horns are adorned with garlands of flowers. Before the town church, in an act genuflection, the animals bend their knees, much to the delight of the visitors and tourists.
At the festival, carabao races are held, competitions for the best crops and various children’s folk games. Prizes are awarded for the best-looking carabao, the most skilful, cleanest and then of course, the best float.
Mike the Headless Chicken Days
On September 10, 1945, a farmer by the name of Lloyd Olsen went to the barn to fetch a chicken for dinner. Expertly decapitating Mike the chicken, he was surprised to find that the chicken continued to live, in perfect health. In fact, Mike continued living a healthy life (albeit headless) for another 18 months. Scientist established that the blow of the ax had left the brain stem and left ear intact. This was enough for the chicken to survive.
For the past 16 years, a festival is held in Fruita, Colorado in May, dedicated to Mike’s will to live. The festival has a variety of events for the whole family, including stalls, food vendors, games, bands, pancake breakfasts, foot races, a car show and eating competitions.
Cooper Hill Cheese Rolling
In Cooper’s Hill, Brockworth, England is possibly the most cheesy event (no pun intended) of the calendar, occurring at the end of May.
The 200-year old game is simple. Roll a handmade, seven-pound circle of Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill and have a crowd of people chase it. The first to the bottom of the hill (or the first to grab the cheese) wins. The game is somewhat complicated by an abundance of mud, the grass is very slippery and the slope is scary. There is a relatively high injury toll. Although the idea is to run after the cheese and catch it, the vast majority of the competitors have to settle for sliding, tumbling and rolling down the steep embankment.
The game attracts about 5 000 spectators and competitors from around the globe.
The prize for the winner, well….the cheese, of course.
June 16: The Hollerin’ Contest
Since 1969, in the somewhat less than thriving metropolis of Spivey’s Corner in North Carolina (population: 49), a hollerin’ contest is held. The idea is to revive a nearly lost art of hollerin’ which was commonplace prior to the introduction of the telephone.
There are five events: The Whistlin’ Contest, the Conch Shell and Fox Horn Blowin’ Contest, the Junior Hollerin’ Contest, the Ladies Callin’ Contest and of course, the National Hollerin’ Contest.
July 29: Fiesta of Near Death Experiences
To qualify for this festival, you need to have experienced a near death experience during the past 12 months. You now have the privilege to be placed in a coffin and paraded down the streets of Las Nieves, Galicia in Spain near the Portuguese border as part of a festival called La Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme.
Despite efforts by the Catholic Church to the contrary, people in this area still practice pagan rites and the belief in witches and evil spirits is still widespread. This festival is the church’s “Catholicism meets Paganism” attempt to draw people closer to its doctrine. It is, however regarded as one of the most outrageous pilgrimages in modern times.
The festival is dedicated to Saint Marta de Ribarteme, the patron of resurrection.
Fireworks and street vendors, adding a festive mood to the event, follow the somber event.
What might seem strange to one person could be very normal to another. These are five of the most unusual summer festivals in the world.