Dangerous and Unusual Festivals


One of the most dangerous and unusual festivals in the world is “El Colacho”, an annual event held in a small town in northwest Spain since 1620.  In the El Colacho festival, men wearing devil costumes jump over babies lying on mattresses in the street.  This act is believed to give the babies a safe and happy life and to make the infants spiritually “clean”.

Another perilous festival is the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Contest.  This event takes place in Gloucester, England each May.  A huge circle of cheese is rolled down a long hill and men and women tumble down after it. The first person to get the cheese is the winner.  Since the slope of Cooper’s Hill is nearly vertical, there have been some injuries each year in this contest.  Also, since this event has been held for at least 200 years, the total number people who have been hurt in this contest must be very high!

Finally, another dangerous festival is the Takeuchi Matsuri. It is held annually on February 15th in Rogoku, Japan.  Two teams of Japanese men (North Team and South Team) battle each other with bamboo poles.  After two rounds, the poles are lit on fire and the teams continue their fighting.  If the North Team wins the battles, it is believed that there will be a good rice harvest that year.  A South Team victory, on the other hand, means that the price of rice will increase.   For this festival, an ambulance is always available and police sometimes have to try to stop any fighting that goes on after the festival ends.  Despite the town’s men hitting each other with fiery bamboo poles, very few serious injuries occur in this festival.