Top 6 Weirdest Festivals in the World

People from around the world celebrate the weirdest and funniest things. For example, Mexicans have an entire festival dedicated to radishes, Americans organize an event dedicated to duct tape, and Finns carry their wives, in order to test marital bonds. Here are some of the most unusual festivals that take place around the globe. 

1. Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme – Las Nives, Spain

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Photo by Jose-Moreno Maria Garcia

During this strange festival, people are carried around the village in coffins, because they’ve just had a near death experience in the past 12 months and are now showing their gratitude. Once the bizarre coffin-carrying part of the festivities comes to an end, the almost-dead rise and start telling people about their extraordinary near-death experiences. Then, everyone dances and celebrates life. 

2. World Toe Wrestling Championships – UK

Toe wrestling involves two opponents sitting opposite each other and placing their feet on a ‘toedium’. Toes interlocked, they wrestle with both feet until one contender’s foot is forced to touch the side of the frame. The revenues go to charity every year. 

3. Night of the Radishes – Oaxaca, Mexico

Night of the Radishes

Photo by Travis

The legendary Night of the Radishes is celebrated the night before Christmas Eve, on December 23.  Locals present their most elaborate and inventive radish carvings and the best pieces of art receive cash prizes. The events took place every year for the last 117 years, since 1897. 

4. Wife Carrying World Championships –Sonkajärvi, Finland

Wife Carrying World Championships

Photo by Visit Lakeland

This annual celebration requires Finnish husbands to carry their wives along a 253.5 meter long course, with one of the rules stating that “All the participants must have fun”. One of the obstacles of the race is an icy pool, but the prize is worthy: the winner gets the wife’s weight in beer. 

5. Duct Tape Festival — Ohio, USA

The Duck Tape Festival 2014 Theme: Out

The Duck Tape Festival 2014 Theme: Out

This three-day event celebrates duct tape, its enthusiasts and its wacky and fun uses. The festival also honors the history and heritage of the city that is proclaimed the “Duck Tape Capital” of the world—Avon, Ohio—the home of Duck brand duct tape.The festival includes a duct tape fashion show, duct tape statues, and a parade with duct tape floats.

6. World Stinging Nettle Eating Championship – Dorset, UK

Contestants are given one hour to eat as many spiky leaves as they can. They are served two-foot-long stalks of nettles from which they must pluck and eat the leaves. The bare stalks are then measured and the winner is the one with the greatest accumulated length. The championship has separate men’s and women’s sections and even began to attract competitors from Canada or Australia.

A Short History of Magic Shows and Events

The world of magicians has been fascinating for both children and adults all around the world. Illusionism is known to be one of the oldest performing arts in the world and has dazzled the audience from generation to generation. Whether we are talking about the grand illusions of the 19th century, or about the spectacular shows of modern magicians, the magic shows have been around since 1845 when Jean Eugene Robert Houdin opened a magic theater in Paris. Considered by many to be the founding father of modern magic, Robert Houdin distinguished himself by the elegance and creativity of his shows and illusions.

The Houdini phenomenon

HarryHoudini1899Later on, at the beginning of the 20th century, the modern art of magic recorded a new important page in its history, as renowned show-man Harry Houdini created a world-wide phenomenon. His spectacular escapes fascinated millions around the world. Soon, Houdini became an international star. He developed a new style of magic, close-up magic. This style used different small objects such as coins, playing cards, scarves and ropes. With these items, the magician performed different tricks right in front of the audience, hence taking the illusion’s effect to a next level.

Throughout the 20th century, magic became more and more popular and many amateur illusionists started buying magic kits from the local department stores. Also, magic courses became available on a larger scale and the most famous was the ‘Tarbell Course in Magic’ which was an encyclopedia of magic written in eight volumes by Dr. Harlan Tarbell. As technology evolved and television became popular, the art of magic had to adapt. This led to another important moment in the history of Magic, the growth in popularity of David Copperfield.

How to make the Statue of Liberty vanish?

Considered by many aspiring magicians the “God” of Modern Magic, David Copperfield has amazed spectators from around the world with his impressive and original performances. You probably remember one of his best known performances: Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty vanish on live TV.

The Business of Magic Shows and Events

Nowadays, magic has become a profitable part of show business, as there are hundreds of TV shows, events and festivals dedicated to the art of magic.

Professional magicians are now part of associations and federations and here are two worth mentioning. The first is the International Brotherhood of Magicians which is the world’s largest magical organization with more than 13.000 members from 88 different countries. The other is FISM, the Federation Internationale des Societes Magiques, which is the international federation that brings together more than 95 magic societies from all over the world, representing over 50.000 magicians.

Every three years, FISM organizes the most important magic event in the world, The World Championships of Magic. The most recent Championship was held in 2015 in Rimini, Italy and the next one will be held in 2018 in Busan, South Korea.

Magic near the Carpathians

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Source: The Theater of Magic

Though Europe has its fair share of magic shows and events, Eastern Europe has just started adopting this new type of events. In Romania, for example, the art of magic was barely known until a few decades ago. With just a couple of magicians that were known throughout the 20th century, magic was often associated with the world of circus. However, change started in 2008 when actor and magician Andrei Teasca returned from South Korea with a new concept: The Theater of Magic. Combining the art of illusionism with theater, the new concept became widely popular in Romania. With more than 70.000 spectators and over 50 different shows in the repertoire, the Theatre of Magic became the first Romanian organization to promote Magic as an art form. Through hard work and dedication, Andrei Teasca managed to establish the Federation of Magic which eventually was accepted as full member of FISM.

Founding the Harry Houdini Magic Festival, the Academy of Magic and now The Magician’s House (a place where everything is magic: bar, club, shop, shows), Andrei Teasca and his Theater of Magic continue working to develop the business side. As a result, Teasca’s disciple, Emil Dragan, became the first Romanian magician to participate at the World Championships of Magic in 2015 and his performance was appreciated at an international level.

Oveit is a proud partner of the Theatre of Magic and a great tool that helps the staff organize and coordinate the events and shows, sell tickets and check in attendees at the entrance.