If you've ever been anywhere, and by being, you already have been somewhere, you may have noticed differences from where you've just come from, which could be nowhere or everywhere, but it was most likely somewhere.
Now you've read that difficult sentence, let's get into the meat of this. When you're travelling, you want to embrace the local customs and culture of the lands you visit. Eat the food, speak the language, integrate as much as possible. But sometimes, those foreign lands have some pretty weird things going on, things that aren't happening every day.
Here's a rundown of some unusual events, occurring annually, that you can go and check out. Remember, you might need your passport for some of these.
Cheese Rolling - Gloucester, UK
You see all that cheese at the top of the page? Well, down in Gloucester, some bright spark came up with the idea of hoying a load of cheese down a hill and chasing after it. Amazingly, it's now a very popular event that draws people from across the globe.
We get a bad rep here in the UK for our culture, particularly the food. Often described as terrible, we've taken a different approach to making our food more interesting.
Does this improve the quality of the eating experience in the UK? Well, if all you've ever wanted is to eat cheese from the bottom of a ditch or perhaps through a tube during your hospital stay after breaking all your ribs, then yes, British food is excellent.
Night of the Radishes - Oaxaca, Mexico
Radishes are pretty good, right? So, rad-ish. Yeah, deal with it. Mexico has dedicated an entire evening to the most rad member of the brassicaceae family, by carving them into humanoid sculptures. Why? Well, as the story goes, during a monster crop of radishes one year, monks from the city of Oaxaca pulled up some large and unusually shaped radishes, which they took back to the city to show everyone. This was back in the 1800s when there wasn't that much else on so, after a while, the mayor instituted an annual radish carving competition.
Wife Carrying - Sonkajärvi, Finland
Perhaps you've carried your wife before, maybe over a threshold. Finland aren't having that though. No, in Finland, you can carry your wife (or a neighbour's) over a course, which includes obstacles, to the finish line, where presumably you can put her down.
Why? Reasons range from the ancient practice of wife stealing to militaristic drills designed to strenghten soldiers. Whatever the real reason, this fairly silly sport is now practiced the world over, and its participants tend to take it very seriously.
Not only does glory await the winner, but also the wife's weight in beer. The minimum wife-weight is 49kg, so you're already getting a fair amount even if your wife is tiny. If she doesn't quite get to 49kg, don't worry: the race organisers will make her wear a backpack with an appropriate amount of weight to compensate.
Baby Jumping - Castrillo de Murcia, Spain
Since the days of yore, man has liked to jump over things: lines of cars, rivers, sharks.
It seems at some point, those in charge decided that babies needed to become involved in this as well.
So, Spain 'jumped' at the chance. I'm not sorry.
Guys dress up in 'devilish costumes', raise a lot of menace and then jump over the babies, who've been laid out on pillows for the occasion. This is in of itself a baptismal process, absolving the babies of sin from the past year.
Apparently, the whole affair is frowned upon by the upper levels of the Catholic church, but it's probably harmless.
Hair Freezing Contest - Whitehorse, Canada
For maximum hold, put down that hairspray and step into the -30 Celsius world of Whitehorse, Canada.
All you have to do is dip your head into the local hot pools and, once removed, style your hair as majestically as possible while the sub-zero temperature freezes it into shape.
The more ambitious, the better. Winners even get $750 cash. The contest runs throughout winter and submissions are done via photograph. So, if you're in the neighbourhood and fancy freezing your head somewhat, there's $750 in it if you win.
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