February 23, 2018

Crazy Strange Sports?

While I was doing research on the Strange Games and Unique Festivals in Europe post I found many more “events” that would qualify but didn’t include.  There was one unique thing that a lot of these “events” had in common.  They were all being held somewhere in England!

Let’s celebrate some of the crazy strange sports taking place in England.

Cheese Rolling Festival
This annual event is held on Cooper Hill near Gloucester England.  Competitors stand at the top of the hill and roll a round of Gloucester cheese down the hill, racing after it.  The first to cross the finish line is declared the winner.  Theoretically contestants are supposed to catch the round of cheese at the bottom but the rounds of cheese can reach speeds of up to 70 mph, so that might not be such a good idea!

Cheese Rolling Race Glousester England

Cheese Rolling Racel by by Dave Farrance

World Toe Wrestling Championship
Yes this is a real event that is, in fact, gaining popularity in the UK!  There are even rules for this event that started in the 1970’s.  Both shoes and socks must be removed and it is common courtesy for each wrestler to remove their opponent’s shoes and socks!  After linking toes the match begins and the first to pin their opponent wins.  This year’s event was held in Derbyshire and the final contestants were Paul “Predatoe” Beech and Alan “Nasty” Nash.  Since they have nicknames, they must take this seriously, right?

World Black Pudding Throwing Championship
Otherwise known as Blood Pudding, the World Black Pudding Throwing Championship is held in Ramsbottom and revisits the centuries old rivalry between the Yorkshire and Lancashires!  For this competition, the Yorkshire pudding is set 20 feet high and competitors hurl their black pudding in an attempt to tumble over the stacks of Yorkshire pudding.  The festival like atmosphere makes this sound very intriguing!

Black Pudding Throwing in Ramsbottom England

Black Pudding Throwing by Paul Anderson

Strip Poker World Championship
This event is held in London and probably doesn’t need too much explanation!  Texas Hold ‘em is the game played.  Each competitor starts off with 5 pieces of clothing, which is given to them, and a towel to sit on and cover up with once they have lost all their clothing.  For obvious reasons, no pictures are included 🙂

Strip Poker Championship London England

by RenoTahoe, on Flickr

World’s Biggest Liar Competition
Wasdall England is the location for this annual event looking for the person who can spin the biggest believable yarn!  Each contestant is given 5 minutes to tell the biggest bestest lie without using any props or scripts.  Politicians and Lawyers are not allowed to compete – gee let me guess why?  This contest is held in honor of Will Ritson who was a local pub owner known for his ability at telling larger than life tales.

World Water Bombing Championship
This team competition draws people from all around helping out one of their favorite charities.  All team members must be dressed up.  Some come as babies with diapers, or men dressed in women’s finest and others come as scary ghouls! There are award for the best bombs, costumes and most fund raising but all teams are treated to a wonderful “pie and pea” supper after all the fun is over.

Football in the River
Ok, I’ll admit I included this one not because it is so strange but because it looks like so much fun!  Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire is home to this annual game of medieval football.  Goal posts are set up in the Windrush River and two teams duke it out.  There is a referee whose job it is to keep things civil or at least try.  As you can imagine, spectators who line the banks of the river.  If you’re in England, this year the event will take place on August 29.  Make sure you dress appropriately as you will definitely get wet!

 

 

Would you like to see any of these events?

Why do you think so many of these events are held in England?

Fabulous Friday: Discovering a Unique Festival in Germany

Markgroningen Germany is home to a very unusual festival.  The Schäferlauf (“Shepherds’ Race”) is held during late August in this small town located a little north of Stuttgart.

Markgroeningen Town Gate Germany

Town Gate

Late in August Shepherds from all over Baden-Wurttemberg and beyond descend on this tiny village to take part in this festival that has roots back to at least 1445.  Back in the day, the Shepherds Guild held its annual meeting here where they would hold court, resolve conflicts and free apprentices.

Today this festival is a little more fun!

To start off the weekend, festival goers can enjoy a sheep herding contest which covers all aspects of herding sheep.

Shepherds Run Markgroeningen Germany

Shepherds Run

The actual Shepherds’ Race takes place on Saturday.  Dressed in traditional clothing, daughters of shepherds’ race 240 meters across a field of stubble towards the finish line.  Next up are the boys.  Each winner receives a sheep (of course!)  and is crowned Shepherd Queen and Shepherd King.  This royal couple then holds court over a dance in their honor that night.

Sunday, adults and children can enjoy racing as well as many other fun activities and events – stilt-walking anyone?

Markgroningen Germany

Markgröningen by dierk schaefer, on Flickr

During the weekend there are colorful processions, music, traditional games and lots of local crafts.  The weekend is usually closed by a colorful display of fireworks.

 

Have you been to the Shepherds’ Race?

What unique festivals have you been to or heard about?