There are some strange events being held around the world right now and so we have compiled a list of our favorites that have caught our eye. Look out for them if you are in the locations. And if you have come across any weird and wonderful events or festivals taking place please do let us know:
King’s Cup Elephant Polo – Golden Triangle, Thailand
If in Thailand, watch the unusual sight of Elephant Polo which is held annually in March at the Golden Triangle area of Thailand at Anantara. The tournament raises money for the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang in Northern Thailand which cares for over 4,000 elephants. Mogul Indian Kings first played Elephant Polo but the game was reinvented in 1982. An Englishman, Jim Edwards and a Scotsman, James Mann-Clark, both dedicated polo players themselves, decided that polo whilst on an elephant would be a far more interesting sport! The tournament is also played in Nepal and Sri Lanka and does tend to be a somewhat slower sport than when played on horses, as is traditional.
World Ice Golf Championship – Uummannaq, Greenland
The World Ice Golf Championship is a rather bizarre event as it is held on the only golf course created on the frozen Arctic Ocean. Uummannaq in Greenland provides stunning landscapes where international professional and pro-celebrity golfers all compete. This is possibly the world’s most challenging and unique tournament where 36 holes are played on just 20 inches of ice which floats on the Arctic Ocean. On the plus side there are no bunkers and no huge crowds to put players off their swing but on the down-side there are minus 40C temperatures to content with!
Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (Mud Volcano), Cartagena, Colombia
Each year, ending in March, the northern coast of Colombia hosts a rather unusual event where people come to smother themselves in mud. The volcano mud found at the Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (Mud Volcano) near Cartagena in Colombia rises 15 meters out of the ground. The mud has wonderful natural properties to purify the skin if you are prepared to get a little messy!
Tattoofest – Tampa, USA
If a bit of body art is your thing why not check out Tattoofest, an annual tattoo and piercing event, held every March in Tampa, USA. There is entertainment, discussions and competitions. There are several categories in which to compete and are all free to enter, so if you are prepared to expose your embarrassing tattoos you could end up as a winner!
Ice Hotel – Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, Canada
Following the success of the Ice Hotel in northern Sweden, there is now an Ice Hotel which closes each March in Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier in Canada. The Ice Hotel is eco friendly and you can still find the luxuries amid the structure which is crafted entirely from ice and snow. The ceilings are 16 feet high and the furniture is carved from ice blocks. It is formed from 11,000 tons of snow and 350 tons of ice and has two art galleries, a movie theatre and an Ice Bar. Get there before it melts!
Motorcycle Mayhem at Bakken – Klampenborg, Denmark
Thousands of motorcyclists from Denmark and Sweden make the most of the bridge that links the two countries and celebrate the annual opening of the Klampenborg’s Bakken Amusement Park. A biker convoy travels from Klampenborg Station in Copenhagen to the park’s gates. There is also a second leg held to celebrate the annual closing of the park later in the year.
Galungan – Bali, Indonesia
Held annually in March, Galungan is a major festival of the Balinese pawukon calendar. It celebrates the triumph of virtue (Dharma) over evil (Adharma) and the Balinese gods are said to descend to earth. Central to the festivities is the strange Barong dance where the two dancers wear a large puppet head which resembles a lion. In the most holy of the dances the Barong protects his supporters from the evil witch Rangda who try to get them to stab themselves with their krises. The Barong ensures that the krises have no effect and induces a mystical trance-like state where a priest is required to be on hand!
By Julie Bowman