It’s that time of year again. Families pull out decorations, time-honored recipes are dusted off, and around the world people gather for fun and sometimes ridiculous traditions. On alhambra-instituto.org, it lists traditions from around the globe that have nothing to do with winter but everything to do with hilarious rituals.
On the last Wednesday of August, in the Valencian town of Buñol, Spain hosts “La Tomatina” which is a huge tomato-food fight. If you plan on attending on August 28, 2019, and maybe throwing a few tomatoes, make sure you pre-buy a ticket.
If you don’t particularly like tomatoes, how about cheese? Just outside of Gloucester, England is Cooper’s Hill, where the annual Cooper’s Hill Cheese-rolling takes place. The competition involves a 9-pound, round, Double Gloucester cheese, a wild race, and a 650-foot hill. The cheese is rolled down the hill and chased by competitors. Whoever is the first to cross the finish line at the bottom wins. Originally, whoever caught the cheese was declared the winner, but with the cheese reaching speeds of 70 mph that became nearly impossible, and so the first to reach the end now wins.
Say you liked what you heard about throwing tomatoes earlier, but aren’t in the mood for getting dirty yourself? In Denmark, it’s a tradition for friends and family of a single 25-year old to pelt the person with cinnamon throughout their birthday. As long as it’s not your 25th birthday, you’ll stay clean.
Another uncommon custom is in Bolivia, where in celebration of New Year’s, they bake cakes with rich fillings. Don’t be surprised if you take a bite and find a coin inside! The legend is whoever finds the coin inside one of the delicacies will have good luck for the rest of the year.
In Lopburi, Thailand, things are a little different in terms of traditions. Each year around the end of November, the locals put on the Monkey Buffet Festival. Four and a half tons of fruit, veggies, and candy are laid out for the monkeys that live in and around an ancient temple. The Monkey Buffet Festival is a popular attraction, where tourists can participate in monkey-related games or simply watch a monkey sip a can of soda.
There are plenty of other strange traditions that haven’t been mentioned, like Italy’s Battle of the Oranges or Austria’s “Bad Santa”. If you’ve found or know of any other unbelievable traditions, feel free to comment. Keep in mind these odd ceremonies as you plan for the holidays. Who knows, but that you might get some crazy ideas for traditions this season.
By: Becky Wood
Photo Credits: afar.com