From trailing sheep, wife carrying championships to rubber duck races, October is full strange festivals to pick and choose from.
The Sherp’s compiled a list of his favourites, check it out!
1. Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Where: Phuket, Thailand
Let’s start off this list with something nauseating, shall we? Don’t be fooled by the seemingly harmless title of this Asian festival. You may think it has something to do with vegetables – only a part of which is true. Hosted and followed by the Chinese community in Phuket, Thailand, this festival is held every October over a period of nine days and displays some pretty gruesome and self torturous rituals like extreme body piercing, firewalking and the like. Every participant must maintain a strictly vegetarian diet during this nine-day period, pierce their cheeks with knives, skewers and other household items – as a way to pray to the Nine Emperor Gods for good health and peace of mind. Ironically (as you can imagine) injuries are commonplace at this festival. Not one for the fainthearted, no.
2. Trailing of the Sheep Festival
When: October 9-12
Where: Idaho, USA
The Trailing of the Sheep Festival is a beautiful celebration of Idaho’s famous and annual migration of sheep. The event includes a sheep parade where participants follow 1500 sheep down the one of the main streets of the town. There’s tonnes of wooly paraphernalia to go around, sheepdog championships and of course lamb barbecues.
(Image courtesy : Idahofor91days.com)
3. Wife Carrying Championship
When: October 11
Where: Maine, USA
Inspired by a gang of thieves that was notorious for stealing women from villages in the late 1800s, the Wife Carrying Championship undoubtedly boasts some honourable roots. First introduced in Sonkajarvi, Finland, this sport expects competitors to carry their female companions through a special obstacle track in the fastest time. Running downhill with a woman squeezing your head between her thighs probably doesn’t sound like the ideal way to spend a hot afternoon, but when the light at the end of the tunnel (the grand prize) is your wife’s weight in beer – you will certainly want to ‘run for your wife’!
The North American Championship is held every October in Portland. This festivals sounds more fun to watch than actually take part in.
4. Tübingen Duck Race
When: October 6
Where: Stuttgart, Germany
In the same month as Oktoberfest, Germany also plays host to odd festivals you really need to see. One such festival is the Tübingen Duck Race, where (every year) around 7,000 ducks are let loose in the River Necker in little town of Stuttgart.
Anyone with a rubber duck can participate in this cute yet odd ‘duck race’. Even if you’ve forgotten to bring yours you can always rent one near the river. Participants paste their number and name on the ducks and all release their toys into the water at the same time and subsequently cheer like they’re at a horse race. The prizes to be won can go up 10,000 pounds.
You’d be surprised, this festival began two decades ago in 1999 and has been a longstanding, important tradition in the town.
(Photo credit : tuebinger-entenrennen)
5. Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Parade
When: October 25
Where: Manitou Springs, Colorado
Yes, you read that right. This festival that takes place in a small town near Colorado springs holds a coffin parade and race in the honour of Emma Crawford, a lady who died of tuberculosis.
As the story of origin goes, Crawford moved to Manitou in 1889 in an effort to recover from tuberculosis. The small and fresh looking town seemed like the perfect place for her recovery. However, she later passed away 40 years later her badly buried coffin opened, unearthed and slid down a mountain into a canyon.
After which, the people of the town thought it fitting to celebrate her by holding a parade where men and women race each other with open coffins and women dressed as Emma sitting inside. Talk about morbid.
(Image courtesy : Jacque Fuller)