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5 Festivals you should see to believe

February 28th, 2012

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Festivals are always a lot of fun, but they aren’t always what you would expect.

From tuna tossing to making babies cry, we’ve compiled a list of 5 Festivals from around the world that you have to see to believe.

Frozen Dead Guy Days (Colorado)

Photo credit: 4neus of Flickr

It’s not quite as morbid as it sounds. Since 2002, the town of Nederland in Colorado has spent the first full weekend in March celebrating an unlikely hero – Bredo Morstøl, the Norwegian man who, in 1989, was brought to the United States by his grandson Trygve Bauge, as a corpse.

Wait, what? Trygve had his grandfather’s body cryogenically frozen. After his arrival and breif stay at a certified facility, a series of unfortunate events – including Trygve’s deportation for overstaying his visa, his mother’s eventual eviction from their house, and the city (upon learning of Bredo’s frozen body on their property) passing a provision outlawing the “keeping of the whole or any part of the person, body or carcass of a human being…which is not alive upon any property.” – landed Bredo’s care in the capable hands of a local environmental company.

What happens on Frozen Dead Guy Days? Just what you’d expect – coffin races, a slow-motion parade,  “Frozen Dead Guy” lookalike contests, a documentary called Grandpa’s in the Tuff Shed is shown (an updated version, Grandpa’s Still in the Tuff Shed, was released on March 7 2003), and lots more.

Monkey Buffet Festival (Thailand)

Photo credit: Dean Croshere

Don’t worry, they’re not serving up a hundred different kinds of monkey on a platter. The local primate population (of just around 2,000) of Lopburi, Thailand is gearing up for one of the most talked about festivals of the year – the annual Monkey Buffet!

One of the most unique festival’s in Thailand, the monkey party, held at the Pra Prang Sam Yot temple, was started almost two decades ago by local businessman Yongyuth Kitwantananuson as a way to thank the animals for all the tourism they attracted to the city.

This year, the party is scheduled for November 25, and while you watch these playful primates pry open pop cans and chow down on fruits and sweets, there are also cultural shows, a parade, and vendors selling food and souvenirs. Check out this gallery for adorable shots of the monkeys on their special day!

Nakizumo festival (Japan)

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Warning: If you can’t handle a crying baby, this festival is not for you!

Celebrated every year in April outside of Sensō-ji Temple, a Buddhist shrine in Tokyo, the Nakizumo Festival (which translates to ‘baby cry sumo’) brings together the diaper clad in a competition that will have you screaming for more.

Sumo wrestlers growl and wear masks as they compete to see who can make their baby cry first. If both babies cry at the same time, the winner is chosen by which baby cries loudest. Thousands of mothers line up annually to volunteer their babies for the competition.

The 400 year old tradition, which is thought to banish evil spirits, but there is an old Japanese proverb that says babies that cry grow faster, and the louder the howl, the more blessed they are.

Make sure to check out a full gallery of the festival at Zing News

Mobile Phone Throwing Championship (Finland)

Photo credit: Visit Finland

Ever been frustrated by technology? Here’s your chance to get even!

Finland – home to cell phone manufacturer Nokia and avid mobile phone lovers – can be credited with the conception of the Mobile Phone Throwing Championship, a sporting event that sees participants lobbing their cell phones as hard and as far as they can. Rather than being wasteful, it has been conceived as a way to deal with those constantly ringing machines and at the same time disposing of them in a proper way. While the event is fun spirited and offers a “freedom from being available all the time”, recycling measures are taken into consideration, with local recycling centers collecting the discarded phones at the end.

The Finnish competition is held in Savonlinna every August, but, not surprisingly, the practice has gained international traction, with competitions popping up across the United Kingdom and in the United States as well.

There are four categories to the sport.

  • Traditional – an “over-the-shoulder” throw where contestants are judged on distance (best of three).
  • Freestyle – points are earned for aesthetics and creative choreography
  • Team original – teams of up to three competitors get one throw each with scores tallied at the end
  • Junior – children aged twelve or younger get in on the action

The grand prize? A new mobile phone.

Tunarama Tuna Tossing (Australia)

In 1962, the Tunarama Festival was established with the vision of promoting the tuna industry that was just emerging in Port Lincoln, Australia. Held over the Australia Day weekend, the festival is a showcase of the best of the regions seafood, wine, art and music, with free events, activities, and competitions for all ages.

Yes, a tuna-themed festival is interesting in and of itself, what makes Tunarama stand out from the crowd is their famous Tuna Toss. And it’s taken very seriously.

How does that work? Well, grab hold of a fish by the tail (in 2007, it was announced they would be switching from real to fake fish), and fling it as far as you can. Competitors have travelled from across the country and even over seas in hopes their toss will land them the $7 000 grand prize.

While many participants can only toss their tunas a few yards, there is a professional division reserved for athletes with backgrounds in sports like the hammer throw, javelin, or shot put. In fact, Olympic hammer thrower Sean Carlin is the record holder – he tossed a tuna 37.23 meters in 1998.

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