Make no mistake, humans are a strange bunch! All over the world they take part in weird and wonderful festivals and celebrations while we all look on in wonderment! Here are a few of the best, or definitely the most unusual of them all.
In no particular order:
1) Japan. The land of the rising sun and the naked butt! The Hadaka Matsuri involves hundreds of men taking their clothes off in public. Yes, you heard it right, they take to the streets and strip to their undies, making sure that only their most intimate body parts are, kind of, covered – often wearing only a fundoshi or Japanese loin cloth. They do this because they believe that naked men are particularly good at absorbing the evil spirits so anybody who manages to grab a feel of– okay, touch–one of the naked men will be completely free of all evil.
2) We’re still in Japan, although Greece does have their own version of these phallus festivals, yep, you read it right. Basically, these fertility festivals involve parading the streets with an enormous penis. In Japan they have a phallic shrine (the God of prostitutes) which really gets the party going. There’s lots of flirty festival fertility fun at this one. If you do attend one of these festivals be prepared to get involved – you could be encouraged to kiss a giant model penis – and that’s not something most of us do every day.
3) Mexico. We’ve all heard of Halloween, but in Mexico they take this event to an entirely different level. The “Dia de los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead” is celebrated in cemeteries (well, I suppose they’ve got a captive audience). Anyway, the Mexicans basically have a cemetery party where they indulge in drinking tequila, smoking big fat cigars, and eating lots of traditional festival food.
4) Thailand has a monkey buffet. Now, I know there’s often a mad dash as soon as the buffet is open at normal parties and celebrations, but this is not quite the same. Basically, the Thai locals prepare a huge buffet spread with delicious fruits and veggies to honor the monkey God Hanuman – you’ve probably guessed what happens next. Form an orderly queue, monkeys – NOT! The monkeys arrive in their hordes gorging on the food and getting mighty close to the spectators. This festival has really grown in recent years and has actually helped to place the small province of Lopburi, Thailand, on the tourism map.
5) New parents look away, now – there’s a tie for the last weird and wonderful festival. It’s between putting babies on the road and having grown men dressed as devils jumping over them in the village of Castrillo de Murcia in Northern Spain, or having two almost naked enormous sumo wrestlers in Japan hold babies at each other to see who can make them cry the first. They both sound like so much fun! To be fair the Japanese do believe that babies who cry grow fast which means that if they start screaming and wailing it proves that they are healthy. As for the Spanish, they believe that it helps to cleanse the babies’ souls and bring them health and good luck. They’ve been jumping babies since 1620, but the local priests are strictly forbidden to attend–on orders from the Pope!
This article was written for A Mom and Her Blog by Andrew Schmid. Andrew is the technology director of Premier Parking USA, the leader in discount parking.