World’s Most Dangerous Festivals

In the United States we have fairs, carnivals, and festivals that kids look forward to each year. Usually, we frequent these spots for pure, safe fun. Interestingly, there are a quite a few traditional festivals around the world that don’t necessarily have safety as a priority. Click through the slideshow and find out about the most dangerous festivals, and get more details on each of them from the list below.

1.  Running of the Bulls, Spain

Perhaps the most notorious dangerous event of them all, this festival is all about testing your courage against a pack of bulls running the streets with wild abandon. The event begins at 8 a.m., when crowds begin hoarding around the narrow streets of San Fermin. The Running of the Bulls began as a means to transport the animals from their homes to the bullring. It remains as a tradition today, with hundreds of people get injured every year. It has been estimated that more than a dozen have died because of the festival.

2.  Crucifixion re-enactment, Philippines

In Rolando de Campo, volunteers go to extreme measures to demonstrate their faith. During the festival, participants walk down the streets while beating themselves with homemade whips. The volunteers are even put on crosses and real nails are hammered on their hands and feet.

3.  Takeuchi Festival, Japan

 In the Japanese town of Rokugo, there’s a special festival that occurs every year the day after Valentine’s Day. Two-hundred men are divided into two opposing teams (North and South) and begin hitting each other with 20-foot long bamboo sticks. There are three rounds for this battle, with the sticks being lit on fire during the third one. According to tradition, if Team North wins there will be a good harvest while if Team South wins the price of rice will increase.

4.  Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, England

On the last Monday of each May, participants in the Cooper’s Hill festival chase down seven-pound handmade Double Gloucester cheese. Those who manage to win while running down on the vertical hill. Naturally, it’s not uncommon for racers to tumble and get hurt, sometimes even breaking bones.

5.   Vegetarian Festival, Thailand

In late September, if you happen to be in Phuket you will be able to watch this bizarre festival of religious devotion. Volunteers mutilate themselves with sharp blades and swords. Cheeks, limbs, or any other body part that falls off can be picked up by spectators as they watch participants get cut without anesthetics. Luckily, doctors are present during the event. This makes us wonder why it’s called the Vegetarian Festival.

6.   El Colacho, Spain

Each year during the feast of Corpus Christi, men in the village of Castrillo de Murcia dress as the devil and jump over babies born in the past year. The babies are put on mattresses and spectators gather to watch the jumping. Fortunately, this festival is safe and no babies have been injured so far.

7.   Battle of the Oranges, Italy

In Ivrea, participants celebrate every year the medieval battle between the nobility and the people. The battle takes place during the annual “carnivale” in the town. The orange throwers sit on wagons and wearing armor and hit the people on the ground. Because hard fruit is being thrown back and forth, bruises and injuries are expected.