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10 Fascinating Offbeat Festivals Across the Globe

Every country has its quirks, every culture its unique traditions, and plenty of them are gathered together in these festivals from all over Earth. From massive sanctioned vegetable wars to exciting new beer-can recycling methods, they showcase humanity’s penchant for doing odd things in large groups.

10. La Tomatina (Spain)
This famous Spanish festival began in 1945, when a group of disgruntled teenagers staged a brawl near the main plaza as a distraction, using nearby produce from vendors’ carts as improvised weapons. That’s the most popular theory, anyway, and in any case it is now the world’s largest public tomato fight.

 

tomatina9. The Great Texas Mosquito Festival (Arkansas…ha ha) 

Just kidding – this festival is actually in Texas, which is known for nothing if not its sense of scale, and apparently this translates also to pride in the prodigious scale of its blood-sucking insects. Three days of music, barbecue, and giant terrifying mosquito mascot costumes.

Great Texas Mosquito Festival
8. Kanamara Matsuri (Japan)
The native Japanese religion of Shinto is well known for the variety of its shrines, and this festival centers around a shrine originally frequented by prostitutes wishing for protection against STIs and unwanted pregnancy. The symbolism used tends to be…Freudian.

Schermata-2013-04-11-alle-09.39.497. World Championship Bathtub Race (Canada)

It’s exactly what it sounds like, except you’re allowed to attach an engine and a few extra fittings to make it a bit more streamlined. According to the competition website, you can float an entry of your very own for about $3,000 and a little maritime ingenuity.

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