FESTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Added on: 15th Mar 2016
Some may dismiss Comic-Con as a geek fest, but true fans know
that it’s four days of fun where they can meet industry stars and
play in a fantasy world, all in downtown San Diego. Packed with
events from autograph signings to film screenings to costume
competitions (many people show up in costume), this celebration
of popular arts is a behemoth convention. And to be perfectly
clear here, nobody is too geeky to hit Comic-Con, a monstrous
convention that embraces comics and other popular art forms.
Each year in Clinton, Montana, locals gather to celebrate, well,
testicles. The Testy Fest includes several different events, the main
one being the ball-eating contest. You are given four minutes to see
how many bull testicles you can consume. Yes, you have to eat
bull testicles. They also have an Undie 500 race, which is pretty
much what it sounds like—people racing in their underwear.
You’d have thought a petite partner would be favourable in the
Wife Carrying Championships, but don’t be fooled. While a
lightweight missus will help hubbies navigate the assault course
in the quickest time, their life partners will count against them
when organizers award the prize—the wife’s weight in beer.
Less a festival, more a way of life, Nevada’s Burning Man is the
celebrated soiree that turns the Black Rock Desert into an
alternative, free-thinking city for a week. Attracting imaginative
extroverts and creative self-expressionists, attendees aren’t
merely observers but participants who dream up, build, and
dismantle a world of mutilated cars, interactive communal camps
and otherworldly art in a temporary, utopian space.
UNDERWATER MUSIC FESTIVAL
The Underwater Music Festival is held every year in the Florida Keys.
Music is broadcast by local radio stations and piped underwater.
Musicians dressed as mermaids and mermen join in the fun
and put on a show for all spectators. Many dive enthusiasts come
out for the fun and food, but the festival also promotes the
preservation of the Keys’ coral reef ecosystem.
WODAABE GEREWOL & CURE SALEE
Roles are reversed for the Wodaabe men, who wear makeup and
elaborate costumes in the beauty pageant known as Gerewol.
Gerewol might be a beauty pageant, but it is also a courtship ritual,
as the pageantry often leads to flirtation and potentially a love match.
Wodaabe traditionally have arranged marriages, and many are
already married when the pageant takes place. It is possible that
a flirtation that develops from this beauty competition could lead
to a second marriage (or third), something that is not out of the
realm of possibility for the Wodaabe people.
It might be hard to believe, but one year the crowds at this sheep
shearing festival were so large that the army had to be called in
to control them. These days it’s all about speed and the
quality of the cut as clipper-ready contestants vie for the
championship title. Competitors literally need to be a cut above
the rest to win the wool handling and wool pressing competitions.
BATTLE OF THE ORANGES
The Spanish are well known for their annual food fight, La Tomatina,
but that’s nothing compared to Italy’s Battle of the Oranges.
The origins of this festival are unclear, but we do know that being
hit in the face by citrus fruit is painful. However, that doesn’t deter
participants who turn up in the thousands to join the fight.