10 Most Dangerous Festivals that Need Grit to Participate

Snigdha Sandip

Are you an adventure lover? Do you enjoy games that may put you in danger? If you desire so some countries may allow you to muddle with death in the name of fun. Among them, Japan and Spain offer the high energy fuel death rides.

So if you want to spice up your next trip, visit these places that offer some of the wacky festivals in the world and be part of them.

Baby-Jumping Colacho Festival

Castrillo de Murcia, a Spanish hamlet, celebrates a strange annual event known as El Colacho since 1960. In order to celebrate the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi, grown up men dressed as the Devil jump over the row of babies lying on mattresses in the street.  It is celebrated with processions, mystery plays and many other popular celebrations which culminate on Sunday with this leaping over the babies placed on the procession route traversing the hamlet. The origin of the festival is unclear but it is believed that it cleanse the babies of original sin and will protect them against all evil and illness.

Kirkpinar Wrestling Festival

Kirkpinar Oil Wresting is the Turkish oil wrestling festival. It is considered to be one of the oldest wrestling festivals in the world. Turks who are the toughest and strongest wrestlers in the world celebrates this festival annually since 1346. The wrestling usually takes place in an open field with 20 pairs at a time. Before each session they pour olive oil all over their bodies. It usually ends with either pinning the other to the ground or lifting his opponent above his shoulders. Wrestling features ear-pulling, head-slapping and testicle-grabbing. It won the Guinness World Record of the longest running sports competition.

Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Contest

Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Contest is an annual festival of Cooper’s Hill near Gloucester in England. The event takes the name from the hill on which it occurs. It is basically celebrated by the people of Brockworth, but now it grabs the attention of all over the world. A crowd of fearless competitors hunts an 8 pound round of Double Gloucester Cheese down an extremely steep and bumpy hill. In a speed up to 70 mph, injuries like broken bones and concussions are common. What is the fruit of this hard earned victory…Cheese. Yes, the winner will be awarded with the same cheese he has been hunting after.

Bull Riding At the Calgary Stampede

Bull Riding is one of the most dangerous rodeo games.  At the world-famous Calgary Stampede, cowboys and cowgirls get on a large bull and try to stay mounted to a bucking mad bull.  The rider must stay for eight seconds atop the bull. The rider tightly fastens one hand to the bull with a long braided rope. Sometimes these fighters are frequently pitched like dolls onto the ground and crushed by the beasts. As it is a risky sport, it has been called “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.”

Takeuchi Matsuri

On the evening of February 15th, the town is divided into North and South and men gather in groups with 40 foot bamboo poles. Can you believe, it is just one day after Valentine’s Day! About 1oo men on each side, groups proceed to beat and whack the other side’s heads, legs and torsos causing cuts on their enemies. The first and second rounds are less harmless and last only for three minutes each. But in the last round things get serious as a bonfire is lit and the armies engulf their poles in the fire. According to the folk story, if the North wins the rice harvest will be bountiful for the year, but in the heat of battle the south naturally forgets that.

Yanshui Beehive Rockets Festival

Usually fireworks are shot into the sky. But the locals of Yanshui, Taiwan come out with a different idea. Every year they gather and fireworks are pointed towards the large crowds. The story behind this festival is that once Yanshui was beset by the plague and a temple master told people to fire rockets into a parade as a way to ward off evil spirits.  Even though the crowds wear protective gear, many still suffer burns and eye injuries.

Fire walking

Fire walking is a national Hindu festival organized all over South India. It is done as part of a religious ceremony in which the devotee offers to walk on fire if his wish is fulfilled with the blessing of the Goddess Draupadi. This village goddess other wise known as Amman presides over the fire walking festival. The Theemithi ceremony begins with the chief priest crossing a fire pit of 3 m with a karakam, a decorated pot placed atop his head. The devotees would then follow him and at last cool their feet in a pool of cow’s milk.

Danjiri Festival

In simple words, Danjiri Matsuri is a cart-pulling festival held inJapan. Danjiri or large wooden carts are built in the shape of a shrine or temple with elaborate wooden carvings. In the first day, the drunken people slowly pull the carts through theOsaka’s narrow streets. But in the next day it almost turns into a race. There are numerous reports of broken bones, severe bruising and head injuries, as floats tumble down on their creators and teams collide with each other and begin fighting instead of racing. Deaths are not uncommon either, as it is difficult to ride the floats down the roads with reckless abandon.

Onbashira Festival

It is once again Japan. Japan is indeed a place of adventure.  Onbashira Festival, a festival held in every six years in the Lake Suwaarea of Nagano, has been uninterruptedly continuing for 1200 years. As part of this festival, huge trees are cut down in a Shinto ceremony using axes and the logs and adorned with the traditional colors of Shinto ceremonies. Groups of men drag the logs down the mountain towards the four shrines of Suwa Taisha. The journey of the logs is through the rough terrain, and at certain points the logs must be skidded or dropped down steep slopes. As an act of bravery, young men ride the logs down the hill in a ceremony known as “Ki-otoshi.” In every seven years they lose some of their dear friends.

Running Of The Bulls

Running of the Bulls is a Spanish festival in which people run in front of a group of bulls. Unlike the other rodeo games, anyone above 18 can participate in this. The Bull Runbegan in the 17th century in honor of the Northern Spanish town’s patron saint during Las Fiestas de San Fermin. The festival takes place at 8 am. Many will be gathered in the streets. When the bulls are released people will start running desperately to escape the wrath of the bull. People suffer life-threatening injuries at the hands of the angry bulls.



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