Joining festivals is a great way to immerse yourself in different cultures and traditions, and it gets even better when you decide to join not just any festival, but those that locals and tourists consider to be the craziest of them all. If you’re interested in taking part of Europe’s craziest festivals, you need not tour the entire continent. In fact, you only have to set your eyes on one country – Spain – which is where the most insane celebrations are held.
1. La Tomatina
La Tomatina is held in the small town of Buñol in Valencia. The festival takes place on the last Wednesday of August every year, and about a hundred metric tonnes of overly ripe tomatoes are squished and thrown to crowds until the entire place is red and soaked in tomato sauce. In 2012, there were over 50,000 people who joined the event, mostly tourists. The “battle” lasts for 60 minutes, after which revellers will be sprayed with water to wash away the tomato sauce.
2. Las Fallas
Europe’s wildest spring party, Las Fallas is held every year from March 13-19 in Valencia and the entire city is taken over by the fallas, which refer to huge papier mache sculptures that can be as high as 15 metres. During the Las Fallas, you’re likely to see around 350 – 400 fallas. There are lots of fireworks display and Valencia being the pyrotechnic capital of the entire world will host a mascleta, which is a series of deafening sounds and explosions that literally shakes the entire city. The grand finale happens at midnight of the 19th where all the fallas will be burned in a fiery explosion. Talk about crazy.
3. Batalla del Vino
On the 29th of June every year, locals and tourists climb a mountain in Spain’s La Rioja and then start throwing wine at each other. Thousands more take to the streets of Haro where they load water pistols and spray cans loaded with wine in a 3-hour wine drenching celebration to mark the feast of San Pedro. If you want to join in the fun, make sure you come armed with your supermarket ammo, plenty of wine, and don’t forget to wear white t-shirt.
4. Running of the Bulls
When it comes to bull running and bull fights, only one place comes to mind: Pamplona. The Fiesta San Fermin is marked by the running of the bulls and every year from July 6 to 14, thousands of people flock to Pamplona to witness the event and join in the revelry. It’s one of the craziest and most dangerous event you can take part of. There’ve been fatalities reported through he years so you need to be extra careful!
This one’s the only festival on our list that’s not held in Spain. Munich’s beer festival ranks up there as one of the craziest and wildest parties in the world. The 16-day celebration attracts tens of thousands of people who come to drink beer from humongous mugs the size of your head. You get free-flowing beer at a very low price, and people are dressed up in traditional Bavarian attire.