Competitive masculinity manifests itself in many ways around the world. In the humble town of Sonkajärvi, in the cold nation of Finland, it is displayed through the art of “eukonkanto,” otherwise known in English as “wife-carrying.” Yes, it’s exactly what you’d imagine it to be. In this part of the world, a championship was created in which men race each other while carrying their wives, or some kind of female partner on their backs.
There are numerous styles of wife carrying. These include the fireman’s carry, which is done over the shoulder, the traditional piggyback (which most people would be familiar with), and the Estonian style. This version is basically where the wife is carried upside down, with her legs hanging over the neck and shoulders. Pretty wild stuff!
Lopburi Monkey Banquet – Thailand
Sometimes, the best days are the ones where we can give to others. And we’re not just talking about humans. In Thailand, locals and tourists alike can go to the Lopburi Monkey Banquet. It takes place every November and the premise is pretty simple.
More than 4,000 kg (close to 9,000 lbs) of produce is laid out for the local macaque monkey community to feast on. It’s amazing to see. These adorable creatures literally jump down from the trees to participate in the festival. It is meant to bless the neighborhood so that there is a fruitful harvest. Bon Appetit, monkey friends!
Burning Man – Nevada
If you haven’t heard of Burning Man, then where have you been for the last few decades? Started back in the ‘80s in San Francisco, this extremely hip festival has since relocated and variations of it have been organized all around the world. But the most iconic of them all takes place in Nevada.
Artists from all over the States (and beyond) come to build and dismantle a city made out of scraps and metals. Some of the art pieces on display are absolutely stunning. At its core, Burning Man is all about bringing people from all walks of life together, promoting peace, inclusion, love, art, expression, and many other commendable values.
International Festival of Worm Charming – UK
This bizarre festival traces its origins back to Willaston, England. Back in 1980, the son of a farmer made his community's jaw drop by summoning more than 500 worms from the ground in just 30 minutes. And the act was performed as part of a competition, which he obviously won.
Since then, there has been a worm charming festival in this part of the UK every year, with self-proclaimed worm-charmers flocking from far and wide to show off their skills. They will use all kinds of weird and wonderful methods, such as playing music and creating vibrations. But only one can win!
The Great Fruitcake Toss – USA
Let's face it, fruitcakes are something of an acquired taste. And the people of Manitou Springs, Colorado, know this all too well. They weren't satisfied with simply throwing them in the trash. So they decided to come up with an entire event dedicated to simply throwing these cakes up into the sky.
The Great Fruitcake Toss is now one of the most popular festivals in this part of the States. And the ways in which people choose to launch the cakes have become more and more creative with each passing year. Some catapult them with contraptions they created simply for the event!