For most people drinking a cold beer, going to the cinema or playing a sport is how they relax after a hard day at work. However, there are those out there who like to play it a little less safe when it comes to their spare time. Booking for a festival may seem like a fairly normal thing to do but wait until you read what's on the line up of these weird and wonderful festivals, all of which have been chosen to make your eyes water! From British Shin Kicking to the American Testy Festy (use your imagination!) read on for a spot of worldwide culture!
The Devils Leap
No doubt that many of you will have heard of the Feast of Corpus Christi, celebrated each year by members of the Catholic Church from around the world. However it is unlikely that you have heard of El Colacho, an event held by the Spaniards of Castrillo de Murcia as part of their Corpus Christi festival. Roughly translated El Colacho means 'devils jump' and is basically the act of grown men, dressed as the devil, jumping over a row of babies in the street. The babies have to have been born during the previous year to take part in this age old ritual which started in 1620. They are laid out in rows on mattresses which are strategically placed on the procession route during the last day of the festival. The celebration culminates with the colacho making the somewhat terrifying leap over the unsuspecting tots in order to cleanse them from their sin and bless them in their coming life. Possibly one of the most bizarre and hair raising festivals in the world, we think that there would certainly be hell to pay if the colacho didn't quite make the leap!
The Naked Festival
Japan is traditionally best known for its electronics industry, Samurai's, the Bullet Train and Manga comics and generally not naked men. However it seems that the festival of Hadaka Matsuri is seeking to put Japan on the map for than just its brains. Hadaka Matsuri, or 'naked festival' in English, is attended by thousands of men clad only in loincloths who compete to get their hands on a selection of sacred sticks known locally as 'Shingi'. It doesn't end there though. Once in possession of the Shingi, the men must place them in a box filled with rice so that they stand upright. It doesn't sound that difficult until you add in the fact that there are only a few pairs of Shingi and on average about 10,000 competitors all of whom are sprayed with cold water throughout the proceedings! And the prize, a year of health and happiness of course!
We British will most definitely need our stiff upper lip and British bulldog attitude when it comes to the annual shin kicking event in the Cotswolds Olimpicks. Despite being a Nation of health and safety procedures and risk assessments this 400 year old event is still celebrated today by a brave few. Luckily it is not quite as bloody as it was 400 years ago with competitors now being allowed to stuff their trouser legs with straw in order to soften the blows! The tournament is made up of a number of early rounds (dependent on the amount of entrants) and a three stage grand finale!
Residents of Clinton, Montanna no doubt look forward to the month of August with great enthusiasm. I mean who wouldn't jump at the chance to chew a Rocky Mountain Oyster, or when called by their official name - a bulls testicle. Just for the record, giving them a jazzy name does not make it any less gross! Apparently though there are several thousand people out there that do not share my aversion for this unusual snack. Every year the festival holds a testicle eating competition along with a number of other adult only events, no panty Wednesday anyone? Grab yourself a testy festy wristband for access all areas (sorry) on this week long overgrown dorm party!
Follow Vicky Dean on Twitter: www.twitter.com/InboundVicky