Yesterday was the 70th annual La Tomatina – a festival held in Valencia, Spain, where people get together to have a huge tomato fight. If you like a festival where you can get down and dirty, here are 5 of the messiest from around the world…
Songkran, or Thai New Year, is a Buddhist festival which is celebrated with a huge water fight. Traditionally, water pouring is a symbol of washing away all sins and bad luck, and the Songkran festival takes this idea and ramps it up to the max. You can channel your inner child, dust off that Supersoaker 3000 and drench whoever gets in your way. Unfortunately, talcum powder is also added into the mix, so you might end up a little pasty.
When? 13th – 15th April
Mess rating: 5/10 – talc + water = papier mache effect
This Spanish festival is like La Tomatina, but with wine. Thousands of locals climb a mountain in the La Rioja region to throw buckets of wine on each other and dance to a live vino-drenched band. To be honest, we’d rather not waste a single drop of Spanish Rioja, but you might get away with pouring it into your mouth…
When? 29th of June
Mess factor: 7/10. Wine stains…
This ancient Hindu festival signifies the victory of good over evil. It starts the night before with a Holika bonfire party, and then the next day, everyone goes nuts throwing dry multicoloured powder and water over each other. You’ll have to head to India to experience the real deal, but there are plenty of spin-offs all over the world, including The Colour Run if you like to combine festivities with exercise.
When?End of February or early March
Mess factor: 8/10.
No-one knows exactly where the Battle of The Oranges festival originated, but it’s Italy’s biggest food fight and you’ll be sure to get at least 250 of your 5 a day. It’s not just a free-for-all either – participants are divided into 9 combat teams, the battle takes place over three days, and there are strict rules in place. One thing they don’t seem to have any restrictions over is how hard you throw those oranges, so be sure to wear your sturdiest crash helmet.
When? February 14th – 17th
Mess factor: 7/10
Greece’s answer to the Holi festival takes place on what’s known, ironically, as Clean Monday. Participants are extra careful about getting their clothes stained, however, and come prepared dressed in plastic ponchos and goggles. Where’s the fun in that, eh? They dance in the street and throw up to 1.5 tonnes of coloured flour on each other, meaning cakes are probably off the menu for months.
When? Clean Monday – aka the start of Lent
Mess factor: 1/10 – if you wear the full suit
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Author: Selina Akhtar
Published: August 27, 2015
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