Today is Pancake Day, which got us thinking about some of the weird and wonderful food festivals around the world...
Baya Nyale Sea Worm Festival, Indonesia
When the moon is full in February and March, Lombok islanders wade into the sea and try to catch as many colourful sea-worms as possible, before cooking and eating them. As well as being a tasty snack, the worms represent the hair of an Indonesian princess, who legend has it plunged into the sea to prevent royal suitors from warring over her.
La Tomatina, Spain
In the last weekend in August every year, people in the Spanish city of Banyol take to the streets and splatter each other with over-ripe tomatoes. Goggles recommended.
Ivrea Orange Festival, Italy
Refusing to be beaten by the tomato-slinging antics in Spain, the small village of Ivrea in Italy holds an annual orange-throwing festival, 3 days before Pancake Day. Ripe or otherwise, air-borne oranges have got to hurt a lot more than tomatoes!
Perugia Chocolate Festival, Italy
Okay, so it’s not really strange, but we had to include this one for chocoholics! Between 16 – 25 October, the Medieval town of Perugia is literally dripping with chocolate: chocolate ice-cream, chocolate cocktails, and even chocolate hot-dogs. Mmmm, chocolate.
Night of the Radishes
We’ve heard of Night of the Living Dead, but Night of the Radishes sounds frankly terrifying. Mercifully, all it involves is an array of intricately carved radishes, show-cased on 23 – 24 December in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Far from being a flop, Tunarama has remained a popular festival in Port Lincoln, Australia since 1962. Originally, it began as a celebration of the port’s thriving tuna-industry – and what better way to thank the humble fish, than with a tuna-hurling competition? The current record holder is ex-Olympic hammer thrower, Sean Carlin.
Lopburi Monkey Buffet, Thailand
Every February, a simian-friendly buffet is held for the macaques in Lopburi, Thailand, to thank them for the tourism they bring to the region. They have a pretty cushy time the rest of the year too, running amuck amongst the region's temples!
Jaca Tsary, Peru
Peru’s Jaca Tsary isn’t great if you happen to be a local politician (or a guinea pig, for that matter). As part of the religious festival that occurs throughout the year, guinea-pigs are dressed up in symbolic satire of political figures, before being eaten as a high-protein delicacy.