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Whacked Out Festivals (Part 2)

Maslenitsa: Free-for-all Boxing Match (Russia) 
Long before Brad Pitt and Edward Norton made noses bleed with their bare knuckles, the tradition of rules-free boxing came into being in Russia. On the 4th day of Maslenitsa, men get together in an open space and punch each other to commemorate Russian military history. There is only one thumb rule-Do not beat a man when he is down, which means, you can punch on the face or grab and twitch crotches. In centuries past, the festival has its closure when all the participants are soaked in blood, bereft of clothes. There’s no entry fee, but the organizers may not be willing to pay for your medical bills later. Be a part of it, only if you have health insurance. 

Tunarama: The Tuna Tossing Festival (Australia) 
Tunarama festival began in 1962, with the intention to promote the merging tuna fishing industry. It is held in Port Lincoln, on the tip of Eyre Peninsula, over the Australia Day (26 January) long weekend. Tuna fishing is now one of the town's biggest industries and Australia's largest tuna cannery is located there. The highlight of the festival is the tuna tossing competition, where participants can toss a five-pound fish as far as your strength allows, and win money. Ex-Olympic hammer thrower, Sean Carlin, holds the record for the longest toss at 37.23 metres set in 1998. Wonder what Master Chef Australia judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston have to say about it. 

Roswell UFO Festival - The Alien Parade (USA) 

The Rosewell UFO Festival is celebrated on the anniversary the Roswell Incident, when a UFO allegedly crashed into military grounds in USA. The highlight if the celebration is a costume party where people don alien costumes as well as a hot air balloon ride. The Roswell Incident has been a subject of intense controversy and the subject of conspiracy theories. The United States military maintains that what was actually recovered was debris from an experimental high-altitude surveillance balloon belonging to a classified program named “Mogul”; however, many UFO proponents maintain that in fact a crashed alien craft and bodies were recovered, and that the military then engaged in a cover-up. That explains the costume and the hot air balloon. 

La Tomatina: The Tomato Pelting Festival (Spain) 
All those who thought rotten tomatoes is for bad performance, think again. People of Spain throw tomatoes at each other for fun. La Tomatina is a Spanish Festival is modestly described as the world's largest tomato fight. Thousands of people pelt each other with over 250 lbs. of tomatoes in a span of 60 minutes in an. Every year, over 30,000 tourists come to Bunyol for this festival. Rules of conduct keep the festivities from becoming a more dangerous brawl. La Tomatina is celebrated in late August. Care for a quick skin care routine, simply walk in. 

Hadaka Matsuri  (Japan)

What would think when you see a mighty crowd of about 9000 men parading in Half-Monty attire? It’s not a gigolo fest, it’s not a slut walk, infact it is above and beyond the initial reaction to nudity. Hadaka Matsuri is a Japanese festival for men to exorcise their bad luck. About 9000 male participants assemble in a single piece of loin cloth. Among them, one chosen man is completely naked. Why? Each year one volunteer is randomly selected to be the Shin-otoko, or Naked Man. The fundoshis i.e., the other ‘9000 minus one’ men in loin cloth attempt to touch this ordained man- and pass on their bad luck to him. Although the naked the Shin-otoko takes home nothing but the misfortune of another man, the designation is considered to be quite an honour. 

-by Parmita Borah


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