Any excuse will do for a celebration. And for any, read literally anything and everything. Animal, mineral or vegetable – you name it – and someone somewhere in the world is throwing it, eating it, chasing it…all in the spirit of a good party.

Some of these weird and wonderful festivals have roots going back centuries, while others are more recent excuses for letting your hair down and having a good time. But whatever the reason, one thing’s for sure: A good time is guaranteed.

This is a guest post from the fine folks at Holidaylettings. Here’s their pick of the best:

Roll it

What: A Double Gloucester is rolled down a steep hill pursued by local men, who roll, stumble, and dive their way down the 200 meters after the cheese. First to cross the finish line gets the cheese. No prizes for broken bones or muscle sprains.

Where: Cooper’s Hill in the village of Brockworth, Gloucestershire, UK

When: Spring Bank Holiday (May)

Cheese Rolling
Photo by Dave Farrance (License) via Wikimedia Commons

Carry her

What: The Wife Carrying World Championships involve carrying your wife along the 253-meter track. Competition is fierce, and the world record is currently 55 seconds. So, choose your burden carefully – the rules specifically state that she doesn’t have to be your official wife.

Where: Sonkajarvi, Finland

When: Early July

Squash it

What: 125 tons of tomatoes and 40,000 people come together for a morning of intense throwing and squashing. It’s so popular that you need a ticket to attend; rules include squashing the tomato before you throw it, and no t-shirt ripping. Goggles are recommended.

Where: Buñol, Valencia, Spain

When: Mid-August

Photo by Graham McLellan (License) via Wikimedia Commons

Wallow in it

What: Lots of grey mud with cosmetic and medicinal properties make the perfect excuse for a fortnight of wallowing, wrestling, and sliding. For the competitive mud-bather, there are photo competitions, marine-style training, and survival games. Fewer wrinkles are not guaranteed, though.

Where: Boryeong, South Korea

When: Mid- to late July

Boryeong Mud Festival
Photo by Stinkie Pinkie (License) via Wikimedia Commons

Carve it

What: Instead of going in a salad, these giant radishes (weighing up to 3kg) are turned into sculptures on a nativity theme. Local farmers carve the humble red vegetable into figures of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and other Christmas characters, as they compete for the cash prize. Freshness for salad isn’t guaranteed, as the radishes are prepared a week before hand.

Where: Oaxaca, Mexico

When: December 23rd

Night of the Radishes
Photo by drewleavy (Flickr) (License) via Wikimedia Commons

Climb it

What: Giant bamboo structures (up to 20 meters high) are covered in homemade buns during the week-long festival. At midnight on the last day, competitors race to climb the bun towers and grab as many buns as they can in three minutes. Held in honor of the God Pak Tai, celebrations also include a lion parade and marching bands. Only for the sweet-toothed.

Where: Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong

When: Early May

Bun Scrambling Competition
Photo by Tksteven (License) via Wikimedia Commons

Juice it

What: Medieval costumes and horse-drawn carriages do battle in this small Italian town, where the weapons are oranges. And thousands of boxes of them – the orange-throwing reaches such intense levels that snow plows are used to clear the way through. It’s all pretty harmless, because oranges can only be thrown at ground level, but expect the odd bruise and some very scented clothing.

Where: Irvea, near Milan, Italy

When: During Lent (usually mid-February)

Borghetto Battle of Oranges
Photo by Giò-S.p.o.t.s (License) via Wikimedia Commons

Charm them

What: The team of three would-be worm charmers choose a plot in the designated field and are allowed five minutes to prepare their terrain (but no digging or forking). There then follows 15 minutes of charming and enticing as many worms as possible to make their appearance. The Worm Master enforces strict rules and charmers caught cheating are put in the stocks or publicly humiliated. Pre-festival practice is permitted though.

Where: Blackawton, Devon, UK

When: Early May

So, if you are visiting any of these locations in near future, make sure you don’t miss out on these weird and wonderful festivals. Whether you want to participate or enjoy as crowd, these events are totally worth it.

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Have you ever attended an offbeat celebration? If so, what’d you think? If not, what say ye? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!