If you prefer your holidays vanilla rather than wild and messy, then these ‘dangerous’ destinations are not for you! Envisage mind-numbing hangovers, pain-inducing sunburn, seriously stained clothing and more stubbed toes than you can count, well, on your hands!
Testicle Festival – Montana, USA
Yes really! If you’re of a weak constitution then I certainly don’t recommend checking out the bizarre annual Testy Festy, aka testicle festival. Held in Clinton, Montana since 1980, participants get to chow down on as much fried and battered turkey testicles as they can over the five day event. The festival focuses on having a good time and you can be a part of it from 31 July to 4 August. Just remember to pack the antacids and anti-diarrhoea medicines in your first aid kit!
Burning Man Festival – Nevada, USA
Never mind the ritual burning of the ‘Burning Man’ effigy – if I had to stand around in a baking-hot Nevada field for a week, I’d be burning! Each August since 1986, locals gather to celebrate the summer solstice with a gigantic bonfire which only adds to the sweltering heat. In fact, I just checked the weather forecast and temperatures are set to hit 38 degrees C! If you can stand the heat, make sure you avoid crippling sunburn by packing some total sunblock and head to Black Rick City from 26 August to 2 September.
La Tomatina – Buñol, Spain
Ever since I saw the movie version of ‘We need to talk about Kevin’, La Tomatina Festival quite frankly just reminds me of the film (a slow motion scene is featured at the start)! But if you fancy getting downright messy with 40,000 others, all hurling tomatoes at one another, then head to the city of Buñol in Valencia on 28 August. Held officially since 1950, the best advice I can give you is to wear your most tatty clothes, which should preferably be dumped after the event.
Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany
Maybe I’m just a lightweight, but I simply cannot drink alcohol during the day (not without an almighty nap anyway). But imagine non-stop beer drinking for 16 days – welcome to the 180th beer festival extraordinaire, aka Oktoberfest! Added to that, the fact that all the beers on sale must conform to the traditional criteria and are around 6% alcohol. That’s certainly more than we’re used to here. If you are heading to Munich for the beer festival, which kicks off on 21 September, make sure you pack the extra strength headache tablets!
Mobile Phone Throwing Championships – Savonlinna, Finland
OK, I admit it now, I have an absolutely terrible aim – so don’t let me anywhere near the Mobile Phone Throwing Championships. You’re likely to end up getting pelted around the head – just be grateful the old 90’s style ‘brick’ phones aren’t around anymore! Yes you can take your old phone along with you to enter this bizarre Finnish festival on 24 August. And fear not, all the phones are recycled and reused where possible. Now get that cordon in place!
Regatta Of Bathtubs – Dinant, Belgium
If you can’t swim or have a fear of water, then I definitely don’t recommend taking part in the annual International Regatta of Bathtubs. More than 25,000 people are expected to rock up on 15 August to witness a flotilla of elaborately decorated and designed bathtubs cruise along the Meuse River. Homemade rafts and boats also take part – just don’t forget the bath plug!
Balls of Fire – Nejapa, El Salvador
Head to El Salvador this summer and you could find yourself slap bang in the middle of a massive fire fight each 31 August. Las Bolas de Fuego, aka the Ball of Fire festival, re-enacts the eruption of a nearby volcano, complete with fireballs dipped in fuel, which participants hurl at each other! It’s not unusual to see people getting hit in the face and their clothes catching alight, although injuries are thankfully rare. Sounds far too hot for me to handle!