There’s nothing wrong with wanting to celebrate random things. I mean, any reason to party is a good reason, and we can’t just limit those celebrations to well-known holidays.
Yes, Christmas is jolly and Easter is a great time to get your chocolate fix — but, what about the other days of the year? There has to be some weird things to celebrate. This article compiles some of the oddest, head-scratching events that people actually congregate for.
The Magpie Festival is celebrated by the Chinese on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. It’s sometimes called Chinese Valentine’s Day.
Young girls pray for a good husband and demonstrate their domestic skills through embroidery and melon carving. That sounds better than our Valentine’s Day.
Lopburi Monkey Buffet
This festival is celebrated on the last day of November in Thailand each year. It’s the world’s biggest primate party. If you’re a monkey and not at this festival, you’re a nobody, sorry.
They gather around the village of Lopburi and basically just harass visitors for snacks. Every year, they lay out a buffet of food for the monkeys.
Antzar Eguna (Goose Day)
Antzar Eguna can be traced back nearly 350 years and involves a group of Spaniards trying to decapitate a dead goose hanging from a rope in the middle of their town.
Yes, you read that correctly. There is literally no explanation as to why this festival still exists, but, let the kids play.
Punch Your Neighbor Festival
The earth goddess, Pachamama, would demand that blood be shed in order to have a good harvest. The people from the Bolivian village of Tinku took this, and still take this, quite literally.
The tradition dates back to pre-Hispanic times, but that doesn’t stop these villagers from getting a good punch in. The rest is self-explanatory.
Straw Bear Day
No, this is not a funky way of saying Strawberry Day, although that day sounds pretty sweet too. This is an English festival that’s held every January 7th after Plough Monday.
During this time, a man or boy is completely covered in straw and led to houses in the area to dance in exchange for food, beer or money. Though it was an ancient tradition, it was revived in 1980.
Another day, another Japanese festival that’s going to have you scratching your head. This is also known as the “naked man festival”. Thousands of men all around Japan strip down to loincloth to test their manhood.
The rituals vary from town to town. For example, in Okayama, the men purify themselves in water from the Yoshi river. Then they run on the Saidaji Temple and try to catch the sacred sticks thrown by the priests. The one who catches the stick is promised a year of happiness.
National Weatherman’s Day
The weathermen and women go underappreciated. They’re out on our TV screens giving us the five-day forecast trying to help us keep warm and cozy. They’re out on location in a blistering storm showing us just how bad it is.
So, we should all be celebrating February 5th to thank those that work hard to predict the weather.
It’s a Scottish holiday that descended from a Viking celebration depicting the rebirth of the sun. This fiery holiday is celebrated with a variety of fire festivals that start with a torch procession and hundreds of people dressed in costumes.
It ends with the throwing of the fires into a Viking ship replica. It’s usually held in the winter.
You’ve probably heard of this day, and if you haven’t, you should probably crawl out from your hole because that’s embarrassing. February 2nd is the holiday when everyone waits to see if the groundhog in Punxsutawney, PA sees its shadow.
If it sees its shadow and runs back into the hole, we will apparently get six more weeks of winter. That’s always awful.
The Feast Of Anastenaria
This is an eight-day dancing celebration that begins on May 21st. It’s celebrated in Northern Greece and Southern Bulgaria and it’s celebrated with fire walking, dancing, and stomping accompanied by live music.
The legend goes back to the middle ages when the Church of Saint Constantine caught fire. Brave churchgoers saved those inside. A sacred bull is sacrificed and villagers are given meat and sandals made from hide.
This day is celebrated in many English-speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere on the first day of August. That’s because August 1st is usually considered the first wheat harvest of the year.
The custom has it that locals will bring a loaf made from new crop to church. In some parts of England, the tenants were required to give the freshly harvested wheat to their landlords.
Lame Duck Day
This one is kind of funny. It’s celebrated every February 6th to recognize people who are in positions of power, but are about to be ousted. You’ve probably heard this term in politics.
The “Lame Duck” politician is the one who lost the election, but remains in power until his or her term is finished. It can also be a manager or teacher.
Bonza Bottler Day
It was created in 1985 by Elaine Fremont. It’s an Australian holiday that is celebrated once a month (when the month and the day are the same, so April 4th, May 5th etc). The term “bonza” is used by the Aussies to denote that something is great, and “bottler” means something is excellent.
The mascot for the event is a dancing groundhog throwing confetti. Iconic.
The Night Of The Radishes
This festival is actually very popular. It’s a radish-carving contest that’s held annually in Mexico on December 23rd. Participants depict the birth of Jesus Christ to elaborate historical scenes.
It started in 1897 when farmers would sell their produce at the Christmas Vigil Market and they began carving their product to make it more appealing. Now, there’s a cash prize to the best carver.
Nenana Ice Classic
This takes place in Nenana, Alaska. It’s a contest to guess the exact time and day that the winter ice will crack on the Tenana River. That signifies that spring is coming soon.
When the ice melts, it sinks the “tripod” which pulls the rope tied to the clock. This stops the timer and a winner is declared. In 2008, a man won over $300,000. Combined, over $10 million has been given out.
People in Peru celebrate the reenactment of the Incan sun ceremony. Since 1944, hundreds of people have come from all over the world to witness the procession.
The lucky man chosen to portray the emperor is carried on a golden throne to an ancient fortress to ask for the sun’s blessings.
Air Guitar World Championships
I mean, who wouldn’t have fun at this event? It’s basically just pure unadulterated rock and roll. It takes place in Finland and promotes world peace.
The organizers of the event say: “according to the ideology of the Air Guitar, wars could end, climate change could stop, and all bad things could disappear if all people in the world played air guitar.”
Hangul Day, or as I like to call it, Korean Alphabet Day, celebrates the creation and proclamation of the Korean alphabet. This was celebrated by the South Koreans on October 9th, while North Koreans do it on January 15th.
I mean, the alphabet is pretty darn important. The least it could get is a day of celebration.
Chau Bun Festival
This one looks really lit. The eighth day of the fourth moon in the Chinese calendar sparks a big party. It’s called the Chau Bun Festival in Hong Kong and it’s supposed to drive away evil spirits and ensure smooth-sailing of its sea-faring residents.
The fun begins when three 60-foot towers covered from top to bottom with sweet buns and pastries are set up in front of Pak-Tai temple. People have to rush to grab as many as they can. The more you grab the better your luck.
The Nyepi Day, or Silent Night, celebrates Bali’s Lunar New Year with total silence. There are security guards that patrol the streets, making sure that no one is doing any hooligan stuff.
The Nyepi Day tradition is then followed by cleansing rituals like some casual exorcisms. That is naturally followed up by a huge party and carnival where puppets with bulging eyes and wild hair are burned to chase away the spirits.
This is the largest food fight in the world. If that doesn’t make you excited and bring you back to your high school days, I don’t know what will. It takes place in Brunol, Spain and involves about 30,000 people.
Tractors carrying red, squishy tomatoes dump them throughout the streets as ammunition for a 90-minute free-for-all.
Wave Your Fingers At Your Neighbors Day
I mean, isn’t it nice to be nice? This weird celebration is on February 7th and it gives you a good excuse to give your neighbor a big smile and wave.
It’s a good way to make someone’s day. We shouldn’t need to celebrate a “day” to be friendly, but everything helps and I’m all for it.
Titanic Remembrance Day
I think that it’s really important to remember one of the biggest tragedies of all time. Okay, it’s maybe not near the top, but like, top 100 tragic events I’d say. Anyway, Titanic Remembrance Day is celebrated on April 15th and dedicated to the ship and the 1500 dead people.
Thousands of people celebrate the day by watching the Titanic and shower singing My Heart Will Go On.
Now this is something I can get behind. If you’re in college, you’ve probably celebrated this day a lot and didn’t even know it.
The first day of March in Iceland is a nationwide beer drinking party. It’s an all-day celebration that sees the entire country shut down. It’s a tradition that started to celebrate the country’s 75-year ban on beer, which was overturned.
Bean Throwing Day
Japan is known for some weird festivals. So, the idea that there’s an official Bean Throwing Day shouldn’t really surprise anyone. It occurs on the first day of spring according to the lunar calendar, which is usually February 2nd or 3rd.
The celebration involves, you guessed it, throwing beans around homes, shrines, and temples to scare away evil spirits.
Guy Fawkes Day
You can either call it Gunpowder Day or Guy Fawkes Day, they both mean the same thing. It’s celebrated on November 5th and commemorates the infamous gunpowder conspiracy of 1605 in England led by Guy Fawkes.
The gunpowder conspirators were a group of Catholics who wanted to blow up the British house of parliament. Guy Fawkes was arrested as he was about to ignite the gunpowder. People in England celebrate it with fireworks and bonfires.
Star Wars Day
I mean, is it THAT much of a surprise that Star Wars Day is an actual thing? I’m going to say no. It’s celebrated every year on the 4th of May. It’s celebrated on that day because of a famous quote “May the Force be with you”.
Diehard fans will change it to “May the Fourth be with you”.
Working Naked Day
I can get behind a celebration like this. Working Naked Day first started on February 1st, 2010, and has become an annual thing.
As the name will suggest, people are supposed to be working from home with no clothing on for the entire day. I’m not sure how their boss checks in on them, but I’ll stop asking questions.
Donald Duck Day
Look, I love Disney as much as the next person, but I think this might be pushing it a little bit too much. Donald was created on June 9th, 1934 and is one of the most popular Disney characters of all time.
People actually celebrate June 9th by getting dressed up like Donald. I mean, to each their own.