February 17, 2018

Strange Games and Unique Festivals in Europe

We all enjoy festivals and outdoor events, especially during the summer, so I did a little digging and found some strange sporting games and unique festivals held in Europe that just might interest you.  Most are held during the summer but some are held at other times during the year.

Mobile Phone Throwing began as an international “sport” in 2000 with the World Championships being held each year in Savonlinna, Finland.  During the event, contestants can participate in up to 4 categories: distance throwing, freestyle choreography, team and a junior event for those under 12.  Guess we know what happens to all our old cell phones!

Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships

Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships by husin.sani, on Flickr

Imagine if you will, an Irishman goes with a few mates to a pub during lunch to discuss a new motor sport idea.  A few pints and hours later Lawn Mower Racing is born!  Beginning in England during 1973 the sport is now world wide with many events held during summer months including a World Championship.  That’s why men need to stay away from the pubs!

Lawnmower Races

Lawnmower Races by Fir0002

The Flour Festival in Viana do Bolo, a town in the Ourense region of Galicia in Spain, takes place each February during the Lent/Carnival season.  Yes, they actually throw flour, in fact, no clean face is safe including those of tourists!  Don’t wear your best clothes.

If you want to go to Hell then you might just want to go between September 1 and 4 when the Hell Blues Festival takes place in Hell, Norway.  Ok so this isn’t a strange festival but I thought some of you might want to go to Hell 🙂  They also accept volunteers to help with the festival, which allows one free entrance for every 8 hours of work!

Irish Road Bowling has been around since the 17th century and is now governed by the Irish Road Bowling Association.  Literally played on a road, 2 players throw an iron ball down the road with the one going the furthest crowned winner!  With terms like Bullet, Road Shower, Bowl of Odds, Butt, Faugh a Ballach and Kitter-Paw, how could it not be an exciting sporting event?

Road Bowling

Road Bowling by fergie_lancealot, on Flickr

Dragon Boat Racing has been taking place for at least 2000 years.  There are many festivals throughout the world but in Europe you can enjoy races in Lubeck (Germany), Budapest or, the largest, in Malmo Sweden.  The human powered boats are long and usually decorated with a dragon head and tail.  The crew is about 22 people including a drummer who controls the beat of the rowing.  The brightly colored boats are quite a sight as they glide over the water!

Dragon Boat Racing Budapest Hungary

Dragon Boat Racing Budapest Hungary

Splashdiving events are held throughout Europe and, from what I’ve seen, would be a fun event to attend!  Splashdiving or “Freestyle Bombing” was developed in Germany and the goal is to make as big a splash and as much noise when hitting the water as you possibly can.  This means you want a lot of skin smacking the water, ouch!  There are 12 sanctioned jumps each with a different degree of difficulty.  To see Splashdiving in action, watch this short UTube video:

Wife Carrying World Championships are held in Sonkajarvi Finland where the event was introduced in 1992.  As the name indicates, this “sport” is made up of the male competitor carrying his female teammate through an obstacle course.  The winner is the fastest and the prize is their “wife’s” weight in beer!  While there are other Wife Carrying Contests only in Finland do you win the beer.  After the events are completed stick around for awards, karaoke, dances and other festivities.

World Wife Carrying Championship

World “Wife Carry” Championships by jurvetson, on Flickr"

There you have it, some weird and strange games and festivals.


Which one would you most like to attend?

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  1. Rory says:

    Hey, buddy, I have not figured out the best way to subscribe

  2. Thanks for the excellent short article, I was looking for information such as this, going to check out the other blog posts.

  3. Aaron says:

    Road bowling looks like a blast! I can’t wait to try it here in the U.S.
    Aaron recently posted..Morehead State Men, Lindenwood Women Win Southern Classic

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      It did look fun as did some of the others! I think it would be a hoot to “happen” upon some of these taking place.

  4. J.C. says:

    Those lawn mowers look far more souped up then any racing mower I’ve ever seen. Do they also have combine derbies in Europe like they do in rural America.
    J.C. recently posted..Quaker Life Banana Walnut Bread Soft Bake Bar Review

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I was surprised by the lawn mowers but when I mentioned it to my husband he said “oh yea they’ve been doing that here for awhile”. So it just shows how much I know! I thought it looked like a lot of fun and would stop to see it if I was in the area. As for the derbies, I no clue.

  5. Bob Crunch says:

    Mobile Phone Throwing???
    I guess we all temporarily become athletes when we receive bad news via our phones.
    Bob Crunch recently posted..Why a Master-planned Community?

  6. Andrea says:

    These are strange – lawn mower racing would be hilarious!
    Andrea recently posted..Exploring The Burren and Cliffs of Moher

  7. What?! I had never heard of these weird games!! ha! Sometimes Europe is crazy!
    Norbert | GloboTreks recently posted..Machu Picchu: How To Get the Most Out of Your Visit

  8. Grace says:

    Mobile phone throwing and wife carrying? LOL Oh man I have to see this live! Look at their faces they are drop dead serious about these outdoor events.
    Grace recently posted..Up in a Hot Air Balloon

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I know! That lady throwing her phone looked really intense. Crazy. I also think the lawn mower racing would be interesting plus I love how it cam about.

  9. I’ve heard of the wife carrying championships as I know some Estonians were pretty good at this. Also, I would love to do the phone throwing. I think I could do well as a former baseball player! 🙂

    Some of these look like events that belong in the South!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Budget travel deals of the week July 19 – Fall airfares, Hawaii giveaways

  10. I would love to see Marathon du Medoc in France. A marathon that has drunken runners who have had too much wine. AMAZING!

    Also, I’d love to attend La Tomatina in Spain. Takes place Aug 27.
    Cheryl Howard recently posted..Expat Living: The Day I Broke Into My Own Flat.

  11. These are all funny. Not sure I am wanting to go but if I happen to be in the area might do one

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I had fun researching them! They do seem fun and I would love to stumble across one as it is happening 🙂


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