Festivals, food and culture are what we love indulging in most when travelling. What better way to experience it all than being part of a whacky food festival? It gives us a glimpse at their food, local vibes and are a ton of fun!
Live your childhood food-fighting dreams by tossing tomatoes and grapes at one another (without getting into trouble) or glide around with melon skis! These food festivals are sure to bring out the kid in everyone.
Here’s the top 11 most exciting food festivals around the world you wouldn’t want to miss being a part of. Mark your calendars; let’s go!
1) January: Tunarama
Other than serving fresh seafood, one of the most popular events during Tunarama is the Championship Tuna Toss. Real frozen tuna fishes are tossed by finalists and the winner is determined by the furthest toss. Try your luck at claiming the title or participate in other events such as prawn peeling, boat making and the slippery pole!
When: Closest weekend to Australia Day holiday
Where: Port Lincoln, Australiaq
Duration: 4 days
2) February: Chinchilla Melon Festival
Producing a quarter of Australia’s melons, Chinchilla held the first melon festival in 1994 to cheer the town up after extended periods of severe droughts. Expect a bit of a fun mess as contestants put on their watermelon skis and glide through the juicy rink in a Melon Ski race. Apart from the race, the Chinchilla Melon Festival has other activities such as Melon Bungee and Pit Spitting as well!
When: Mid February
Where: Chinchilla, Australia
Duration: 4 days
3) March: Ivrea Orange Festival
Just one last food fight to conclude the list: Ivrea Orange Festival. Started from 1808, the battle of oranges was an annual reenactment of rebellion by the people. Participants form organised teams and attack one another with oranges during the festival. Pick your side and attacccccckkkkkk!!
When: 6th March
Where: Ivrea, Italy
4) April: The Pancake Race
The Olney Pancake Race is a tradition that dates back to 1445, when a housewife brought a pancake in a hurry to church. Housewives and young ladies of the town are required to run a timed race of 415 yards in an apron and scarf. The highlight will probably be watching them flip the pancake during the race!
When: 47 days before Easter Sunday
Where: Olney, Buckinghamshire
5) May: Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Festival
If watching a bunch of people tumbling down the hill behind a round of cheese amuses you, mark down the dates for the cheese rolling festival on your calendar. This annual event starts with the rolling of a 7-pound cheese down the hill. Despite high injury counts like sprains and broken bones, hundreds of people still go ahead with their dive to catch the 7-pound cheese circle. Any brave volunteers?
When: last Monday of May
Where: Cooper’s Hill, Brockworth, England
6) June: Haro Wine Festival
Drenched pink from head to toe, Haro Wine Festival is probably the only time you can intentionally ruin someone’s clothes for fun. Head to Haro, Spain on 29th June to experience the toughest dilemma ever — to drink the wine, or ruin someone’s clothes in the name of fun?
When: 29 June
Where: Haro, Spain
7) August: La Tomatina
Traditionally, La Tomatina only starts when someone successfully reaches the ham hung on a 2-storey high greased wooden pole. Today, people start hoisting 175 tonnes of ripe tomatoes at each other the moment the water cannons are fired. Be part of this mushy fun by buying your tickets early (limited to 20,000 people only)!
When: Last Wednesday of August
Where: Bunol, Spain
8) September: The Grape Throwing Festival
The Grape Throwing Festival originally started in 1930s as a fun way to rid grapes not good enough to make wine. If you’re a fan of paintball, here’s a fun alternative. Sprint your way to the fields and start firing grapes at anyone you see — you can apologise later (or never). If you’re not ready to get all pulpy and sticky, there are grape-threading competitions or grape-stomping events happening at the same time!
When: Last weekend in September
Where: Mallorca, Spain
9) September: Oktoberfest
Giant pretzels complemented with huge glasses of alcohol, the Oktoberfest attracts millions of party goers (and their families) every year. It’s never too early for alcohol in Munich — drinking starts as early as 10am in the morning. Unleash your true self (no one to judge here), and dance to the jolly music by live bands.
When: Mid September
Where: Munich, Germany
Duration: 16 days
10) November: Monkey Buffet Festival
Disclaimer: This festival does not have an unlimited supply of monkeys for eating.
Happening in Thailand, the Monkey Buffet Festival is a feast for the furry animals. Watch how the monkeys pick and fill their stomachs with 400kg of food laid out in front of temples while you take the chance to snap a selfie with them — just remember to keep your valuables from these sneaky ones!
When: 25 November
Where: Lopburi, Thailand
11) December: The Night of the Radishes
Otherwise known as the time of the year to carve and create scenes out of oversized radishes, this annual folk-art competition is one of the most anticipated festivals in Mexico. Artisans and amateurs will have to create works of art and you will be able to see and get inspired by their creativity and workmanship!
When: 23 December to 1 January
Where: Oaxaca, Mexico
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What was your favourite food festival? Let us know in the comment section below (: