From eating to dancing to throwing balls of fire, the list of unusual festivals around the world is pretty astounding. Some of these festivals are downright bizarre, while others are just strange. But whatever your definition of “unusual,” you’re bound to find something on this list to pique your interest.
Here Are Five of the Strangest Festivals Around the World
The Festival of Fire held each year in December at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Festival of Fire, also known as the Festival of Lights Singapore, is an annual winter festival celebrated in Singapore. Held at Singapore Botanic Gardens, the festival welcomes thousands of visitors to its grounds, which burst into vibrant color with lights, decorations, music, and performances. This festival is a showcase of 16,000-20,000 lights and more than 100 performances.
The Festival of Fire is an interesting festival that is held every year at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It is held over two nights and is filled with fire art, fireworks, and street performances. It is an event created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The Festival of Fire blends different cultural elements with fire and is considered a popular tourist attraction.
The Vancouver Zombie Crawl held in October
Get ready for something very, very strange. While Halloween celebrations around the world may be tinged with spooky, macabre themes, Vancouver has a Halloween tradition that’s the complete opposite of that. This Halloween season, hordes of people dressed up as zombies will flock to Vancouver, Canada, in October to party it up in what is billed as “Canada’s Largest Zombie Crawl.”
The Vancouver Zombie Crawl is an annual event held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The event was founded in 2011 by a group called the Vancouver Zombie Walk Association, a grassroots organization dedicated to educating the public about the horror genre. The Vancouver Zombie Crawl fosters a family-friendly environment and encourages participants to dress in zombie-like costumes. The event attracts thousands of participants each year and draws a lot of media attention.
The Goblin Market held each year in July in Great Yarmouth
The weirdest festival around the world, the Goblin Market, is held each year in July in Great Yarmouth (See photo). The festival was first held in 1988 to celebrate the town’s links with the North Norfolk coast folklore and circus tradition. The procession includes “Goblins” made of paper, straw, balloons, and papier-mâché. It also features live acts, including jugglers, clowns, and magicians.
The Goblin Market is something of an oddity in the world of festivals: it’s held in Great Yarmouth (in the UK) each July, with Halloween falling on the same day this year. While the dates of the festival vary from year to year, it’s typically held the last weekend in July and usually attracts around 10,000 people.
The Running of the Bulls is held each year in July in Pamplona, Spain
If you’re planning to visit Spain this summer, you might want to add Pamplona to your list. This Spanish city is best known for the annual Running of the Bulls, or San Fermin festival, which takes place annually in July. This festival actually dates back to the Middle Ages, when bulls were let loose in the streets to chase and attack participants. These days, the bulls are let out in an enclosed area. The run itself is not a dangerous event, and most participants have tame runners who leap in front of the bulls to divert them. However, it is still advised to wear runners and loose clothing during the run to avoid getting trampled.
The Running of the Bulls is the highlight of Spain’s San Fermin festival. Every year, the tradition begins the Saturday before the festival. The bull runs are the most dangerous part of the festival, which sees over 100,000 people worldwide flock to the small town for the week-long fiesta. Tourists from around the world flock to the festival to see the bull runs, which take place in Pamplona’s inner streets.
The World Naked Bike Ride held each year in June
The World Naked Bike Ride is held in more than 150 cities around the world. This annual event is billed as a celebration of bicycling and body positivity, and the body painting is an added bonus. The ride attracts bike enthusiasts and body artists from around the world. The male participants bared it all and painted their bodies using a variety of techniques, like sponges, brushes, and sponges. The festival ends when all the riders come together for a mass to take off their clothes.
This annual event is held on June 21 and involves people clad in nothing more than clothes made from paper, cardboard, and cloth—which obviously makes them look a lot less naked. This event is so popular that organizers prepare for its months in advance, setting up large event tents with portable toilets and showers and hiring security to ensure bikes don’t get stolen.