Up Helly Aa, aka the Shetland Fire Festival in Lerwick, Scotland © Douglas Baird

Up Helly Aa, Scotland

Mix Scottish and Viking traditions and you get one seriously big fire festival.

The Burning of the Clavie, Burghead, in Moray, Scotland © Skatedog

Burning the Clavie, Burghead

More proof of national pyromania in Scotland, as if any were needed.

Photo ©

Tunarama Festival, Australia

Of all of the things that a festival could celebrate, tuna fish has got to be one of the weirdest.

Photo © Jonathan Hawk

Cockroach Races, Australia

Every year on Australia Day, the Story Bridge Hotel of Brisbane listens out for the pitter-patter of tiny feet. Really tiny feet.


Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival, England

Dress up as a straw bear and dance for the locals, who might give you some food or drink out of sympathy.

Photo © Tajai June

Thaipusam festival, Malaysia

Cages of spikes, cheeks and tongues skewered by tridents, and sharp hooks dug into fleshy bits. It sounds more like a scene from hell than a spiritual celebration.

Photo © Al-capone-36

Camel wrestling, Turkey

Cockfights, dogfights and bearfights might be out of fashion, but camel wrestling is a whole different animal – and one very much alive and kicking.

New Year Witch, Italy © Sean O'Neill

New Year witch, Italy

While some lucky kids can expect Santa at Christmas, others will have to make do with an old hag.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.