World’s weirdest festivals in February

World’s weirdest festivals in February

This month we continue with our look at the world’s weirdest festivals, this time in the month of February. From pillow and flour fights to shovel racing and throat blessing, take a look at February’s weirdest festivals from around the world.

Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri
late February, Saidaiji-naka, Okayama, Japan
If one of your fantasies is watching around 9000 nearly-naked men wrestle with each other over a couple of revered sticks, then stick this in your calendar. Those who manage to come out of the jungle of sweaty bodies with the shingi (sacred stick) can chance their luck at a year of happiness by driving it into a rice-filled wooden box or masu.

Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri

Valentine’s Day Pillow Fight
February 14, San Francisco, USA
Whether you want a bit of flirty fun or to vent your frustration on the opposite sex, then San Francisco’s Valentine’s Pillow Fight could be just the thing. More than 1,000 people gather for this annual flash-mob style event, one of the biggest pillow fights in the world. The only rules are that you must tell everyone you know about Pillow Fight, there must be nothing else inside your pillow, and you must not hit anyone without a pillow or holding a camera.

Valentine's Day Pillow Fight, San Francisco

Blessing of the Throats
February 3, London, UK
At this time of year you may need extra protection against those colds and sore throats that the cold weather brings. Well at St Etheldreda’s Church you are encouraged to open wide and say aaahhhhh when they conduct the annual Blessing of the Throats. The popular Saint Etheldreda was a patron saint of chastity and was summoned for help against infections of the throat and neck.

Blessing of the Throats, London

International Water Tasting Contest
February 21-24, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, USA
If you are one who believes that water has no taste, then you would be advised to keep it yourself if attending this event. Over 100 waters are to be put through their paces at this Water Tasting contest. Not too surprisingly, it is the largest water tasting competition in the world and is even in its 24th year. If testing international tap and bottled waters wasn’t enough you can even attend a talk about the ‘Chlorine revolution‘.

World Shovel Race Championships
February 8-9, Angel Fire, New Mexico, USA
Drag your shovel from its shed and make your way down the mountainside on your behind. Yes, there’s no sledge purchase necessary to get your winter kicks with the Shovel Racing championships. A revival of a decade old tradition, this event is now its 5th year and has advanced to include an Alpine GPS tracking system so you can keep your eyes on your favourite garden tool as it makes its way downhill through the snow.

Angel Fire Shovel Races

Viana do Bolo Flour Festival
Unconfirmed (leading up to Lent), Ourense, Galicia, Spain
This unusual festival looks somewhat like the after effects of an apocalyptic disaster. White dust-covered people dressed in plastic protective clothing roam the streets throwing flour on some suspecting and some non-suspecting victims. Watching bleached-white business people holding their plastic covered brief cases looks more like a scene from the ‘Walking Dead’ than a working day in Spain. Others purposely dress in outlandish costumes with scarves and caps to cover themselves up.

World's weirdest festivals - Viana do Bolo Flour Festival
Viana do Bolo Flour Festival

Imbolc Fire Festival
February 1, Marsden, Yorkshire, UK
This Gaelic influenced festival comprises a fire and light procession to celebrate the change in season from winter (represented by Jack Frost) to spring (the green man). Other characters that can be seen in the parade are the druid costumed, stilt-walkers, singers and drumming bands. Think fire circuses, a fleet of dancers and an array of quirky fire sculptures and you’ve pretty much got it summed up.

Trenary Outhouse Classic
February 23, Trenary, Michigan
Using the slogan ‘It’ll be a gas’, this quirky event takes toilet fun to the extreme. Homemade bogs are strung together with anything from crates to grand pianos. Unlike the Australian version, this one takes place in a chillier climate, meaning that this becomes an alternative to the Winter Olympics – an outhouse on skis, being pushed by two runners.Taking pride of place on Trenary’s main street, race winners are awarded a cash prize.