AS far as holidays and observances are concerned, Singaporeans only have to look forward to Good Friday (it’s coming soon enough) for anything remotely close to a celebration.

But more than that, there are plenty of inventive holidays that people have planned from around the world, you’ll wish you were there to join in on the fun.

On the bright side, we’re listing 5 of the most bizarre celebrations around the world you never knew existed, from weird to bizarre.

Maybe, you’ll plan a trip to these places and say goodbye to FOMO.

05: Kanamara Matsuri (Penis Festival), Japan

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You read that right, the male genitalia.

The roots of this festival trace back to an ancient Japanese legend:  A vicious demon hid in a woman’s vagina, threatening to bite off the privates of any man who “came too close”. To defeat the demon, the woman had a blacksmith craft an iron phallus to break the demon’s teeth.

The male sex organ is now enshrined in the Kanamara Shrine in Kawasaki, and the festival has become an annual celebration of sex, fertility and life itself.

More importantly, the yearly event has become a major tourist attraction and a fundraiser for HIV research.

Surprising, that Japan’s apparently conservative society can surface the most “adventurous” citizens, contributing to a penis-centric festival with a fifty thousand turnout.

04: Toe Wrestling Championships, UK

 

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Who cares about lame thumb-wrestling with your childhood friends when you can jostle with your toes – and win a competition if you’re good at it?

This guy goes by ‘Nasty Nash’, a longtime toe-wrestling champion, since winning the title in 1994 in England. According to Mental Floss, he has invented a toe exerciser to ‘make his toes strong’.

Sadly, even forty years after its inception, people are mad at the International Olympic Committee for not recognising it as an official sport.

If you’re itching for a toe fight, join them this summer and flex what your momma gave you — your toes, obviously.

03: El Colacho (Baby Jumping Festival), Spain

 

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If you don’t feel like dunking your newborn into holy water, fret not. There are more creative ideas than one to baptise your little kid.

Every June, parents in the Spanish village of Castrillo de Murcia gather their babies on mattresses on the street. Red and yellow-masked “devils” then leap over them.  The babes are sprinkled with rose petals after.

Dating back to as early as the 1620s, El Colacho takes place after the Feast of Corpus Christi (the celebration of Christ) and it is believed to have begun as a fertility ritual.

No doubt moms everywhere are screaming in fear at the notion, but if you, too, believed your babies could be cleansed from bad luck and disease for a lifetime, perhaps one mortifying moment seems quite worth the heart palpitation.

02: Noche de los Rabanos (Night of the Radishes), Oaxaca, Mexico

 

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The only place in the world you can see radishes being worshipped and come to life, is none other than in the town of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Dating back to 1897, then Oaxaca City’s mayor decided to make a radish-carving contest a part of that year’s Christmas market, which sold traditional flowers, herbs and ingredients for holiday dishes as well as decorations for the home.

Radishes have been quintessential to Mexican cuisine; also, it’s such a vegan-friendly event, why not carve a radish and celebrate local agriculture? If you’re scared of your greens though, this may be your worst nightmare.

01: Air Guitar World Championships, Finland

 

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We told you, we got some cray-cray going down in this list.

Bear in mind, this is a legitimate competition; people mean business, even monkey ones. Finland has become home to the legendary showdown for artists of the invisible instrument since 1996.

To compete, you need to declare whether your performance of choice is with the acoustic or electric guitar. Sounds like a farce, but rules are rules — anyone caught “strumming the drums” or performing actions not involving the guitar gets their points docked.

Not that it isn’t real, you just can’t see it.

written by.
Elvin Ng
Elvin is a writer dabbling in the fashion, travel and culture beats. When he isn’t blogging about his latest adventures, he’s most definitely hunting down the latest and biggest sales in online shopping.

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