A touch of weird in these Northern Europe Festivals
We already talked about the weird, unique and fun festivals in the Southern Europe and surely we can’t miss the several opportunities of funny moments during the festivals in the Northern Europe, because if you are looking for an event where to be totally surprised, Europe is the ideal for you. Said that, add a touch of weird to your travels with these bizarre and wonderful events, from the beer floating in Finland to the mud olympics in Germany, here are the most unique and unusual festivals in Northern Europe.
Kaljakellunta Beer Floating Festival
Kaljakellunta, Finland’s floating beer festival, is a summer event where thousands of participants float along a river in any kind of inflatable boat while they drink beer. There is no official organizer, nor are there any rules or entrance tickets, but this funny festival has become so popular that local companies have even started to sell boats designed specifically for the Kaljakellunta, with small fridges and beer containers incorporated.
Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival
Founded 20 years ago, the Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival is one of the best and largest in the UK. For two weeks in August, the idyllic village of the Yorkshire Dale comes alive with hundreds of imaginative mannequins stuffed with straw, some of which recall familiar characters such as the Royal Family. The whole community participates in this creative celebration, whose main purpose is to raise funds for the local school, the village hall and the church.
There is no better time to visit Brussels than during the Flower Carpet, when almost a million bright colored begonias cover the beautiful Grand Place. This floral display with elaborate patterns and the magnificent Gothic architecture that surrounds the main square create a truly breathtaking visual show, all in the heart of the Belgian capital. The event takes place every two years during the Assumption weekend in August and has a different theme each edition. To admire the tapestry in all its splendor, head to the balcony of the town hall, which is open to everyone.
Psy-Fi Psychedelic Music and Arts Festival
Surely an unmissable Psytrance festival in Europe. The Psy-Fi stands out for its beautiful setting near the city of Leeuwarden, which covers swimming lakes, islands, beaches and ancient forests. The one-week event is based on connecting people from all over the world through visionary art and alternative music, with famous DJs, shamans, and psychologists who help participants explore states of alternative realities.
The Mud Olympics is a fun event held every July in the banks of the Elbe River in the city of Brunsbüttel, in northern Germany. Already in its thirteenth year, the Wattolümpiade, as it is locally called, includes games like mud soccer, mud volleyball or sled runs, all dedicated to helping cancer patients in the Schleswig-Holstein area.
Golden Retriever Festival
Celebrating everything about the Golden Retriever, the Guisachan Gathering is the cutest festival ever! The one-week event is organized by the Golden Retriever Club of Scotland in Tomich, the ancestral birthplace of the breed, and gathers hundreds of adorable puppies (and their owners) from all over the world. Expect a dog show, a torchlight procession, a formal dinner, as well as many fun games and competitions.
Olney Pancake Race
A 550-year tradition, this food-themed competition in Buckinghamshire is considered the oldest pancake race in the world. Every year on Shrove Tuesday, the local ladies, dressed as traditional housewives, walk a distance of 415 meters from the Olney Market Place to the Parish Church while they throw a pancake in a pan. Any woman over the age of 18, who has lived in the city for more than 3 months, can compete in the Olney Pancake Race.
World Bodypainting Festival
Magic shows, international DJs and amazing body art make this event one of Austria’s most amazing festivals. Already in its 21st year, the World Bodypainting Festival celebrates visual culture through creative tricks, otherworldly costumes and dazzling paintings (picture on top), bringing over 300 teams of artists to around 30.000 spectators, all in the southern city of Klagenfurt.
One of the best alternative festivals in the UK, Aespia is a strange 24-hour celebration of interactive art organized in a secret woodland location near London. Bring your camping gear or stay in one of the fully furnished tents and immerse yourself in a multi-dimensional canvas full of original art, catchy music and creative people. The fairground is divided into 3 different worlds, which offer everything from spontaneous shows to dream installations hidden among the trees.
A mix of pagan rituals, folk dances and demonic masks, Busójárás is Hungary’s wildest festival. The moody carnival is held in February in the town of Mohács to scare the last days of winter, but it is also a celebration of the life of the local Croatian minority (Šokci). In memory of the battle of Mohacs of the sixteenth century, hundreds of busós, citizens dressed as grotesque monsters, arrive in rowing boats on the Danube and then march through the streets in horse-drawn carriages. In addition to the main parade, there are various themed activities in which to participate, as well as spiced wine and pálinka (traditional fruit brandy) to warm up during the days of the event, which are quite cold in practice.
Air Guitar World Championship
Every August, the masters of various invisible instruments, from all over the world go to the Northern Finland to take to the stage during the Air Guitar World Championship. Held together with the Oulu Music Video Festival, this unique competition dates back to 1996 and aims to promote world peace through the entertainment world.