7 Strange Festivals Around the World

Only on Planet Earth could these oddball festivals exist. Just for kicks, Vacation Rentals.com has taken a look at some strange festivals around the world. And we've concluded that they’re well-worth a spot on your upcoming itinerary – if only for the story you can tell about them later on.

Hermit Crabs

Mid-Atlantic Hermit Crab Challenge

July in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hermit crabs from all over the US (as well as their human owners) gather together every year for this silly competition by the sea. Crabs go head to head in the Crustacean 500 race, and get all dolled up for the Miss Curvaceous Crustacean beauty pageant.

Monkey Buffet Festival

November in Thailand

While you’re welcome to snap photos of this event, make sure to stick to the sidelines. The area’s population of 2000 or so monkeys show up every year at the Pra Prang Sam Yot temple (just north of Bangkok) to feast on 4000+ pounds of fresh fruits and veggies, handsomely laid out for them by the locals.

Roswell UFO Festival

July in Roswell, New Mexico

If you’re into flying objects, particularly the unidentified kind, then head to Roswell for alien fandom on a massive scale. The city’s still shrouded in mystery thanks to the famous 1947 crash landing of a “flying disk” – or weather balloon, so say the skeptics. Although you may not meet an actual alien at the fest, you just might meet a celeb or two.

24-hour Marriage Marathon

Valentines Day in New York City, New York

Each and every Valentines Day, 55 couples tie the knot atop the Empire State Building. This strange, yet romantic ritual is totally legit, too – a NY supreme court justice is there and everything! While it’s free to wed on the world’s highest observation deck, it does require a bit of planning; applications are due after January 1st, and must include an essay about why you deserve to say “I Do” at the Marriage Marathon. Besides being a part of such a unique extravaganza, newlyweds also enjoy donated gifts and opportunities to win money, prizes, and even honeymoons.

Big Mountain Furniture Race

April in Whitefish, Montana

What happens when a ski town sees the end of ski season? Well, everyone goes for one last ride down the mountain…on their furniture. Or the local hotel’s furniture (not recommended). Anyone can race down the snowy slopes on their favorite piece of furniture, as long as they’ve got a helmet on, and a way to brake. Apparently, La-Z boys aren’t all that lazy in Montana.


World Beard and Moustache Championships


Every year, competitors from around the globe show off their carefully nurtured beards and mustaches. Whether you’re recreating a historic look (like the imperial mustache) or going for something a little more freestyle and fantastical, there are plenty of categories to enter. Let the beard/mustache growing commence!

Witches’ Night

Spring in Prague

The roots of this amusing fest are a bit confusing, but the results are the same every year: lots of bonfires, lots of witch costumes, and lots of family-friendly fun.


For more strange festivals around the world, check out our Festivals and Events page.