We’re big fans of quirky and unusual festivals, and whenever we get the chance to go to one, we jump at it. So this year, we’ve decided to round up the world’s weirdest festivals happening across the planet each month. Take a look at what’s in store for the world’s weirdest festivals in January.
Compass Cup Cow Races
January 26, Mount Compass, SA, Australia
One of the world’s weirdest festivals in January is the Compass Cup Cow Races in Australia. Labelled as Australia’s only cow race, the Fleurieu Milk Company Compass Cup is one of the country’s wackiest festivals. The history of the festival began back in 1973 when the Rural Youth were trying to think up ways of making money for the local community – someone came up with the idea of riding untrained cows, and the race has been a success ever since. Over the years the festival has grown and now includes many other quirky events such as the Wobbly Cow Race, the Dung Fling, Milk Loading and the Rubber Boot Marathon.
No Pants Subway Ride
January 11, New York, USA
If getting too close to other people on the subway freaks you out, then how will you feel when they are half naked? Thankfully ‘pants’ doesn’t mean underwear in the US, like it does in the UK, so at least there is some protection from sweaty cracks. Beginning as a small prank with only seven guys, it now takes place in around 60 countries and always in winter.
January 24 – 27, Port Lincoln, Australia
When we say that this festival is full of tossers, we mean it quite literally! But what makes the Tunarama even more unusual is that they are fishy tossers. While the main dish might be tuna, you can also have a go at chucking prawns. The annual competition has been running for over 50 years and started as a way to promote the tuna industry in Port Lincoln.
Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival
January 18 – 20 2019, Whittlesea, England
Following Plough Monday, the Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival takes place. Traditionally a straw bear was made to dance for money, beer and food. The quirky custom was revived in 1980, along with costumes, a parade of entertainers and a decorated plough. Having only a short life of only three days, the bear is then burnt to make way for a new bear in the next season’s harvest.
World Championship Cockroach Racing
January 26, Brisbane, Australia
Cockroaches may be one of the most feared and detested creatures, but the people of Brisbane use them to celebrate their national day. In this quirky festival, cockroaches are pitted against each other for size and speed, a tradition, which has been going for over 33 years. There’s even a ‘Miss Cocky’ competition for the most beautiful cockroach too.
Harbin Ice Festival
December 25 2018 – February 28 2019, Harbin, China
Not feeling cold enough? Then head to the quirky land of ice and snow in Harbin, China. Now in its 30th year, the Harbin Ice Festival is expected to attract over a million people from around the globe. Over 18,000 square metres of ice and 150,000 square metres of snow have been used in the construction of this winter wonderland, which features sculptures of famous landmarks from around the world. This gigantic icy city also boasts an ice lantern show and a lengthy ice slide.
Bikaner Camel Festival
January 12 – 13 2019, Bikaner, India
The two-day Camel Festival celebrates the sturdy humpbacked mammals and their necessity for desert dwellers. Competing in their own fashion contests and strutting their stuff in dances and processions, these normally indifferent species come alive and look the part as they show off the local needlework and embroidery on their bridle and saddles. There are also bizarre competitions such as camel milking and the best camel hair cut.
Australia Day Dunny Races
26 January, Sunshine Coast, Australia
Always with a national sense of pride in sporting achievements, the Aussies don’t even feign from the weird and the unusual as they raise the flag and sing the national anthem. Bring on the Dunny Races – bizarre outdoor toilet races that consist of dragging loos of all descriptions across a muddy track – running as if their pants depended on it. Sometimes people will even be sitting on the loos too. Winners are awarded a trophy of yes you guessed it – a toilet seat!