World's Wackiest Festivals

Cultural traditions that make the least sense often make for the best festivals. Here are the wackiest -- and most fun -- festivals we could find.

Photo By: Peter Carroll

Photo By: Getty Images

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Photo By: Getty Images

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Photo By: Bigsus, Wikimedia Commons

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Photo By: Mike Stauffer, New Mexico Tourism Department

What started as a bet in 1970 between 2 friends has turned into a popular event unique to Australia. The Camel Cup is now an annual celebration held in Alice Springs with belly dancers, music, camel rides and, of course, camel races.

The Monkey Buffet Festival is held annually in an effort to grow tourism in Thailand. The festival includes giving fruits and vegetables to the local monkey population in the Lopburi province north of Bangkok.

One of Louisiana’s largest festivals, Contraband Days is also the oldest festival held in the city of Lake Charles. With close to 100 pirate-themed events, the festival lasts 12 days.

The Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual festival held in Boryeong, a town south of Seoul, South Korea to promote the medicinal and cosmetic qualities of town’s mud. The 2-week festival includes a mud pool, mud slides, mud prison, mud-skiing competitions and a market that sells cosmetics made from the mud.

The famous Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival draws over 20,000 people looking for love to the busy pubs of Ireland for the whole month of September. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll run into Willie Daly, Ireland's most famous matchmaker.

The largest food fight in Italy, the Battle of the Oranges is held in the northern city of Ivrea. The origin of the orange-throwing tradition is unknown, especially since oranges don’t grow in the foothills of the Italian Alps and must be imported from Sicily.

Haro Wine Festival is held every summer in the town of Haro in northern Spain. After mass for patron saint San Pedro, the Batalla de Vino, or Battle of Wine, breaks out and wine is tossed from buckets until everyone is soaked and colored pink.

El Colacho, or the Baby Jumping Festival, dates back to 1620 and is held annually to celebrate the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi in the village of Castrillo de Murcia near Burgos, Spain. Men dressed as the devil jump over babies to cleanse them of original sin.

Radishes are sculpted into everything from animals to saints at Oaxaca's annual Radish Festival. The festival is filled with music, traditional dancing and lots of food, including deep-fried doughnuts drenched in syrup. According to tradition, after eating, throw your plate over your shoulder and the number of pieces it breaks into dictates your fortune for the next year.

In England’s annual Cheese Rolling, a round of Double Gloucester cheese is let loose from the top of Cooper’s Hill and competitors race down the hill chasing it. Following the 200-year-old tradition, the first person to reach the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese.

The Running of the Bulls happens every year through the narrow streets of Pamplona during the festival of San Fermin. Hundreds of people run in front of 6 bulls and another 6 steers down a half-mile stretch, culminating in an afternoon bullfight.

Thingyan is the Burmese New Year Water Festival during which the sprinkling of water was intended to metaphorically wash away one's sins of the previous year. The festival has grown into an annual water fight with revelers using garden hoses, water pistols and water balloons to douse other participants.

UFO enthusiasts and skeptics alike flock to Roswell, NM, to celebrate one of the most debated incidents in history. The 3-day event includes a costume contest, a pet costume contest and an alien parade.

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