This Bank Holiday Monday, one of the weirdest events of the year should be taking place, the Cooper’s Hill Annual Cheese Rolling in Gloucester. The aim of the game is to chase a large wheel of cheese down a very steep hill and the hero who makes it to the bottom first gets to keep the feted fromage. If the thought of launching yourself head-first down a hill isn’t for you, there are plenty of other strange events that take place all over the globe – here are our top picks of the hilarious happenings around the world.
In July the married male resident of the little town of Sonkajärv take their vows ‘to have and to hold’ literally as they sprint around a 235.5 metre assault course, carrying their other half the whole way! Prizes are awarded to the quickest, the strongest, the best fancy dressed and the most entertaining so it’s not the speed you carry your wife to the finish line, it’s also what you’re doing while you’re getting there! Check out our Mike Bushell interview for more info on this and other strange sporting events worldwide.
Food glorious food! The residents of the Northern Italian city of Ivrea indulge in a mass food fight in which nine different groups set about pelting each other with oranges! It’s not our idea of good fun – and it’s fair to say it probably hurts a little – but the tradition is thought to date back to as far as the 12th century and they’ve stuck with it every March to this day!
Noche de Brujas (Night of the Witches) is a fairly new annual event that only started back in the 70s. It essentially began as an annual witchcraft convention in Catemaco but forty years later and the event has really grown. If you head there today you’ll be faced with literally hundreds of healers, shamans and witches indulging in tarot readings, songs and dance performances!
The Songkran Water Festival in Chiang Mai is the king of all water fights and occurs annually in April. It takes place over six days and is a way of celebrating New Years in Thailand but has become a big draw for the tourists too. This is a boisterous affair with strangers soaking each other regularly but don’t worry, to give another a hosing is a show of blessings and good wishes!
La Tomatina is another annual food fight, this time in Spain and it takes place on the last Wednesday of August in Buñol near to Valencia. Every year more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown between the revellers in the streets and while it’s a messy business, it’s also great fun! There are many theories as to where it all started, the most popular being that woodland creatures where eating all the watermelons in a parade in 1945 and were pelted with tomatoes and the craze caught on!