1. Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival
Photograph by Bhofack2, Dreamstime
How cheesy! Every June people gather in Little Chute, Wisconsin, to honor cheese. (Wisconsin is one of the top cheese producers in the United States.) In addition to cheese tastings, visitors can watch artists carve sculptures out of 40-pound blocks of cheddar.
2. La Tomatina
Photograph by Iakov Filimonov, Dreamstime
Every August, Buñol, Spain, throws a festival that features a massive tomato food fight. Around 20,000 people participate, hurling over a hundred tons of tomatoes at each other in all. (The fruit that’s used is reportedly overripe and unlikely to sell in stores.) What a juiced-up celebration!
3. Boryeong Mud Festival
Photograph by yochika photographer, Shutterstock
Anyone got face wipes? Boryeong, South Korea, hosts a mud festival every summer, using mud trucked in from nearby flats. Festivalgoers can soak in mud-filled plastic pools, race on skis over a muddy course, or get their faces painted with colored mud.
4. Redhead Days
Photograph by Rob Van Esch, Dreamstime
You won’t be blue at this celebration. Held the first week of September in Breda, the Netherlands, Redhead Days celebrates, well, redheads. (Non-redheads are welcome too!) The event draws around 5,000 visitors and includes fashion shows, concerts, and picnics.
5. Pirates Week Festival
Photograph by Meunierd, Dreamstime
Aaargh you ready for this? Every November the Caribbean’s Cayman Islands hold a pirate-themed festival with fireworks and dancing. To kick it off, three sailing ships filled with people in pirate costumes cruise into the harbor of George Town, the country’s capital.
Text by Andrea Silen, NGS Staff