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The Craziest, Maddest Festivals in the World

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Nowadays, there are a lot of “fests” that happen not just across the country but across the world. Food festivals, music festivals and what not. India’s own Sula Fest and Magnetic Fields have become increasingly popular. In fact, the ones who enjoy these, travel across the world to have such an experience. Here are some of the absolute craziest and maddest festivals from across the world!

TOMATINA

While some may have known of fests earlier, majority of India’s youth learnt about fests when they saw this mad one in one of India’s best travel films, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. The town of Bunol near Valencia in Spain hosts this festival on the last Wednesday of every August each year.

Tomatina Festival
Image Credits: Instagram handle @squinted_life

Over 100 metric tons of ripened tomatoes are thrown and then travellers from across the world dive into the biggest food festival from across the world. Due to its massive popularity, the town put a limit on up to 20,000 tickets for each year. So, go on, go pelt people with some tomatoes!

Most famous festival in Spain
Image Credits: Instagram handle @squinted_life

OKTOBERFEST

Well, I know this one has the beer lovers all excited. Would you believe it if I told you that this fest was for the very first time held as far back in 1810? Yep, that’s right! Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen married the then crown prince of Bavaria (later King Louis I) and as a celebration this festival was held. Today, it is celebrated spread over a period of two weeks and concludes on the first Sunday of October. It is the largest beer festival in the world! While it originated in Germany, a number of countries have adapted their own version of it.

Oktoberfest
Image Credits: Instagram handle @yes.munich

If you’re wondering what happens over such a long period, you should know that the festival really has a lot more to offer than just beer. There’s a parade with the grand entry of landlords of breweries, there’s The Tapping, a traditional music session, DJs, drinking games and a whole lot more in store. This one is worth getting that beer belly!

Most famous festival in Germany
Image Credits: Instagram handle @franzi_elmn

VENICE CARNIVAL

This is again a two weeks long grand affair but this time hosted in Italy’s beautiful and much-loved touristy city of Venice. Originating in the 13th century, it had a ban sometime in the 1700s but from the year 1989 there has been no stopping it. There are markets, parades and concerts. So, you get to experience the boat rides and loveliness of Venice with absolute extravaganza.

VENICE CARNIVAL
Image Credits: Instagram handle @sara.garbini

Speaking of extravaganza, the key highlight of the festival is the Venetian masks. All attendees don elaborate masks made authentically in the city. You can dress up your wildest self and go completely bonkers with your outfit.

Most famous festival in Italy
Image Credits: Instagram handle @tourist.omar

UP HELLY AA FIRE FESTIVAL

Scotland’s Shetland has been hosting this festival since the 1800s. It is actually a series of 12 fire festivals, celebrated to mark the end of the yule season. Originally the young menfolk would carry lit up tars on sledges through the city. But due to the damages it caused, this was banned. This then took the form of lighting torches in procession. Squads dress up in themed costumes, called guizers. The costumes are elaborate and the procession is a sight to take in.

UP HELLY AA FIRE FESTIVAL
Image Credits: Instagram handle @gowherewhen

The procession then leads to light up a replica of Viking style ship. They sing the “Galley Song”, throw their torches onto the shop and head to the nearby halls where skits and acts are performed. Of course, involving a lot of drinking and dancing too.

Most famous festival in Scotland
Image Credits: Instagram handle @southspearmedia

TOMORROWLAND

Believed to be the world’s most popular festival, this began in Boom in Belgium in 2005. Revered by EDM lovers it is the biggest electronic dance music festival. The festival’s tickets sell out within an hour apparently! Stages are luxurious and the line up of artists leaves the visitors excited for the months leading up to the festival.

Tomorrowland
Image Credits: Instagram handle @tomorrowland

Stretching over 2 weekends, it holds pride in being a premier music festival. Folks dance and drink all night to lose themselves in the tunes of the thumping music. This one is for the party animals!

Most famous festivals in Belgium
Image Credits: Instagram handle @tomorrowland
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