10 Weirdest Festivals You’ve Never Heard About

Some festivals highlight religion or folklore, while others are associated with harvest time and thanksgiving. To the delight of people all around the world most celebrations involve eating, drinking and/or dancing. But sometimes you find celebrations involving babies, people dressed up as demons, sumo wrestlers, coffins, and many more.

Here are some of the weirdest festivals around the world:

1. El Colacho (Spain)

Visit the Spanish town of Castrillo de Murcia every first Saturday after Corpus Christi and you will be a spectator of the odd Baby Jumping Festival. Locally called El Salto del Colacho (meaning “the devil’s jump”), this event is a Spanish holiday that dates back to the 17th century.

This festival started as a religious ritual that has been passed on for centuries. It is believed that baby jumping should be done to cleanse the babies of original sin and guard them against illness and evil spirits. The men in the town will dress up as the devil, then run down the street and jump over rows of babies. Parents will line up their babies who are less than a year old on mattresses in the middle of the street. The devils are dressed in bright yellow and red suits matched with grotesque masks. The babies become human hurdles for the masked men as the parents watch over them from the side.

It may sound dangerous and scary for the parents but they believe it will guarantee good health for the babies as they grow old. Spectators are also filled with excitement and fear as the festival starts. The idea of cleansing is similar to the traditional Catholic baptism where babies are poured with water to get cleansed of original sin. However, the dangerous act had led to Catholic priests discouraging people to join the festival. In fact, Pope Benedict asked the Spanish clergy to distance themselves from the ritual back in 2012.

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