Europe is home to beautiful places, great foods, and great people. Don’t you know that it is also home to weird customs and traditions? We mean it in a good way. We’d like to thank our sponsors at Vann Heating & Air for sponsoring this post and continuing to support world travel. That being said, let us take a look at some of the known customs celebrated all over Europe.
This festival is celebrated in Buñol, Spain. The festival is all about tomato fight and took place every last Wednesday of August. It is unsure as to how this festival started. Participants do it for fun.
Danube Cross Swimming
It is a festival celebrated in Romania. People swim in winter to celebrate Danube Race for the Cross as practiced by Orthodox. The priest throws a cross into the river and participants swim in the water to find the cross. Participants need to drink vodka so that they can stand the freezing cold water. The person who finds the cross is believed to have a life of luck.
Wife Carrying Championship
This is celebrated in Sonkajärvi, Finland. As the name suggests, men carry their wife/partner and race. There is a specific rule for carrying the wife. The couple should be the first to finish the race. The race is not easy to finish though as aside from carrying the wife/partner, there are obstacles along the way.
Now this is the weirdest of them all. The poor women of the Czech Republic are whipped with willow branches on Easter Monday. And what makes it even weirder is that women reward men for whipping them. They believed that this tradition ensures vitality and fertility.
Caga Tió is a wooden log with a face painted on one end. It wears a traditional red hat. Children take good care of the log and feed them so that in return the Caga Tió will give them treats and rewards. On Christmas Eve, children will hit Caga Tió. They will sing render songs and a reward in the form of toys, chocolates, and candies will fall out of the log. This tradition is celebrated in Catalonia, Spain.
Blackening of the bride
This tradition is celebrated in Scotland. The bride is literally covered with disgusting things such as mud, spoiled milk, and sauces. The principle behind this tradition is that if the couple can withstand this kind of humiliation, they can certainly overcome any challenges that they may encounter as husband and wife.
This tradition has something to do with foods. It is celebrated in Iceland. Every January, a feast of Thorri is celebrated in Iceland. It is called Þorrablót. People need to eat some of the disgusting foods such as sheep head, testicles, or fermented sharks. How it was celebrated in the past? No one knows. However, it is believed that eating disgusting foods signify strength.
Want to experience or witness these festivals first hand? Come to Europe and it will surely be a travel you won’t forget for the rest of your life.