Not all festivals in October are about pumpkins and hay rides. Some festivals that are happening this October are just plain odd. We’ve highlighted our top picks for some of the wackiest festivals taking place around the world this month.
Phuket Vegetarian Festival, September 23- October 3
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is colorful and painful to watch at times. It occurs during a nine day period each year and participants must abstain from eating meat during this time. This festival is about purification of both the body and mind and festival goers often pray to the Nine Emperor Gods during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival. There are many rather gruesome festivities that occur such as puncturing of the face with knives and skewers and fire walking. It is believed that those who inflict harm on their body will be protected by Chinese Gods. This festival is best for those that can handle seeing a fair amount of blood.
Naga Fireball Festival, October 10-16
This festival takes place every year in Thailand in the Mekong River. Thousands of fireballs, varying in size, rise above the water. No one knows for sure what these fireballs actually are, but some people think that they are from the mythical serpent, Naga. In all actuality they may be from methane that bubbles up from the river and ignites spontaneously somehow. Each year thousands of residents enjoy seeing this fireball show that their parents and even grandparents have watched throughout the years.
Tübingen Duck Race, October 11
Rubber ducks aren’t just for use in your bathtub. Every year more than 7,000 of them are released into the River Necker. Participants write their name and number on their duck and place it in the water. The first ducks to reach Neckarbrücke will earn a cash prize.
Diwali, October 23
This Hindu festival of lights is meant to signify good triumphing over evil. Residents of India light clay lamps that are filled with oil. These lamps must stay on when it’s dark to help keep evil away and to make the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, feel welcome. During this five day festival there’s also fireworks, candy and displays of worship. Many people wear new clothes at the festival as a way of bringing about a renewal of life in them.
Tarantula Awareness Festival, October 25
You don’t have to leave the United States to find a wacky festival in October. The Tarantula Awareness Festival takes place in Coarsegold, California and features all things having to do with tarantulas. There’s a tarantula derby, a hairy legs contest and a tarantula hat dance.
What do you think about these festivals? Would you go to any of them? As for us, we think we will pass on the tarantulas and body piercing and enjoy a Halloween festival or two.