Travel Tips

Travel Tip: Weird World Festivals

Photo Credit: Gio

Get ready for this year’s installment of the world’s weirdest festivals.

And if you want to get beyond the traditional beach, museum and restaurant vacations, you now have opportunities to immerse yourself–in some cases I’m being literal–in some of the most bizarre and humorous celebrations or challenges around the world.

In late August, get ready for the annual Potato Days Festival in Barnesville, Minnesota. That’s when you get a chance to wrestle a partner of your choice in mashed potatoes. And no potatoes go to waste. When the local event is over, the leftovers are eaten by cattle.

Are you heading to Spain? Try the village of Castrillo de Murcia. Every year, this village hosts the El Colacho Baby Jumping Festival, where men dressed as the devil jump over recently born babies. The 400-year-old competition is believed to protect the newborns from sins. And it’s not just for local babies. Any baby can participate.

The long-standing tomato throwing festival–La Tomatina–in Valencia, Spain is well known. The festival goes through more than 220,000 pounds of tomatoes with 20,000 people participating. It’s usually sold out and costs $142 to enter. 

So here’s an alternative. Travel instead to Ivrea, Italy for the Battle of Oranges, where participants form teams and throw oranges at each other–about 500,000 pounds of oranges. And the entrance fee is only $120.

My advice, for each festival, is to bring clothing you never want to wear again.

Photo Credit: Gio


By Peter Greenberg for

For more on unusual festivals, check out: 

8 Weird and Wacky U.S. Festivals

Unusual Summer Festivals

Spring Flower Festivals