There are a lot of food festivals around the world, but some focus less on enjoying a good meal and more on playing with their food! Here are our top 5 strangest food festivals around the world:
Night of the Radishes (Noche de Rábanos) - There's a large radish found in Mexico that can grow up to 6.6 pounds (3kg) and 20 inches (50cm) long. The people of Oaxaca do something interesting with these radishes each December, carving them into people, animals, and anything else they can think of. The carvings are judged, and the winner gets their picture in the paper.
Sea Worm Festival (Bau Nyale) - Each year the people of Indonesia rush into the ocean to collect as many sea worms as possible, and then they cook them and eat them. Although there's nothing pretty about sea worms, there's a romantic legend associated with this festival. Long ago, a beautiful princess had so many determined suitors that she threw herself into the ocean to prevent their going to war over her. When she died, her hair turned into sea worms, now the symbol of the Sasak people.
La Tomatina - One of the world's biggest food fights, La Tomatina takes place in Spain each August. The festival starts with participants trying to knock a ham off the top of a greased pole. Once that happens, people throw tomatoes at each other until the streets of Valencia run red. No one knows quite how it got started, but people like it so it continues to happen each year.
Gloucester Cheese Roll and Wake - A tradition in Gloucester for hundreds of years, this popular event in the Cotswolds involves competitors rolling a large, round Double Gloucester Cheese down a steep hill and attempting to catch it. The first person over the finish line wins the cheese. Unfortunately, this event was cancelled in 2010 and it is uncertain if it will return.
Lopburi Monkey Buffet - This annual feast in Thailand is unusual, simply because no one who attends gets to eat anything. Well, no people get to eat anything. The guests of honour are the local Macaque monkeys, who chow down on fruits and vegetables, and even get to enjoy a soft drink or two. The monkeys live in the ruins of local temples, and are huge tourist attractions. The Buffet is the village's way of thanking them!