We haven’t done a top 10 in a while now, so I decided to do one today. Today we are going to be looking at 10 unique holidays from around the world.
- Tinku “Punch Your Neighbor” Festival: Every year in May, Bolivian people gather around their town to punch their neighbors. Ancient stories tell the earth Goddess Pachamama demanded blood to ensure a good harvest, so the Tinku people make sure she gets her blood by punching their neighbors.
- The Feast of Anastenaria: The Anastenaria also known as the feast of Saint Constantine and Saint Helena is an eight-day celebration that begins of May 21st. This feast is celebrated in Northern Greece and Southern Bulgaria and includes fire walking, dancing and music. The festival is believed to have started after the Church of Saint Constantine accidentally caught on fire. As the church was being engulfed in flames, people claimed they heard the cries of Saint Constantine and Saint Helena. Those who were brave went into the church to rescue the icons. When they came out the brave rescuers claimed they didn’t feel the flames.
- Chau Bun Festival: This holiday celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth moon in the Chinese calendar in Hong Kong. The main purpose of the holiday is to drive out evil spirits and ensure a smooth sailing of sea-faring residents. It all starts with three 60-foot towers covered from top to bottom with sweet buns are set in front of the Pak Tai temple. People will then go for the bun towers and grab as many sweet buns as they can believing that the more pastries they gather the better their luck will be for the year ahead. (My kind of holiday!)
- Nenana Ice Classic: This event is a spring ice melting lottery in Nenana, Alaska. The purpose of the contest is to guess the exact time and day the winter ice will crack on the Tanana River. The person who can guess the closet wins a lottery. The way the exact time is measured is actually pretty fascinating. A giant wooden tripod is set on the ice and a clock is tied to the shore. When the ice melts, it sinks the tripod which then pulls the rope tied to the clock.
- Obama Day: Obama is a national hero in Kenya. He has his own holiday. Every November 6 since 2008, Kenyans have celebrated national Obama day. But it’s not just Kenyans! Residents of Perry County, Alabama also celebrate Obama day on the Second Monday of every November.
- Night of the Radishes: This is a radish carving contest held every year in Oaxaca, Mexico on December 23rd where contestants compete to carve radishes into figures. This tradition started when Oaxacan farmers sold their produces at a Christmas Virgil Market and to make their produces more eye catching, they decided to carve out different holiday scenes. The tradition has continued on with now the best carver winning a cash prize.
- Beer Day: Every March 1st, there is a nationwide drinking party in Iceland. This was as a result of a nation-wide ban on beer that was repealed.
- Goat-Tossing Festival: Residents of the Spanish Village of Manganese De la Polvorosa pay a tribute to St. Vincent every year by throwing a goat out of a church belfry 50 feet off ground with people below trying to catch the goat (the poor poor goat) in a sheet. (This is just cruel!) If the goat is caught, then it is paraded through town.
- El Colacho: Residents of Castrillo de Murcia, a small town in Northern Spain celebrate a unique way of baptizing children. Every year, babies that were born over the last year are taken and laid down on mattresses in the street then men dressed as Satan run and jump over them. (I don’t understand how this is safe!)
- Maslenitsa: Maslenisa is held in late February or early March which celebrates the end of winter as well as the last week before Lent. Since they have to abstain from a lot of activities people in this region want to have one last wild week which includes eating a lot of pancake and singing songs, but the best part of the holiday is the bare-knuckle brawls which men have to show respect and friendship.
And those are so unique holidays that I found online. If you are like me, you probably never heard of these holidays. Let me know in the comments below which holiday surprised you the most.