Europe Upside Down: Weird Traditions

A continent with such a rich and diverse history, Europe is made up of 51 countries with about 24 different languages spoken among the populations. It is home to rich cultures and cuisines and is the heart of philosophy, art, religion, and colonization. Needless to say, it’d be extremely difficult to describe all of Europe’s culture. So, let’s go about it upside down by checking out it’s weirder traditions that have survived the centuries.

 SPAIN’s La Tomatina

There was a time a long time ago in Buñol, Spain when a crowd of angry townspeople started throwing tomatoes at some city council members during a local town celebration. No one knows if this is the actual origin of La Tomatina – the world’s largest food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in Buñol. Here, tens of thousands of people from all over the world join this tradition wherein more than one hundred tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets.

FRANCE’s Omelette géante

According to stories passed down in Bessières, France, Napoleon Bonaparte enjoyed his eggs so much during his Easter stay that he ordered for a giant omelette to be prepared for his troops. Now, every Easter, the Brotherhood of the Giant Omelette crack more than 15,000 eggs, stir and cook a giant omelette, and distribute portions to the thousands of tourists who flock to the festivities.

ICELAND’s Þorrablót (Thorrblot)

Thorrablot is a sacrificial celebration of a winter or weather spirit named Thorri and has its roots in culture and rituals of the Viking Age. It takes place in the coldest days of the year, and Icelanders serve the normal day-to-day food for Vikings. These are food that are smoked, soaked in mysa (a sour milk), salted, dried, or kaestur (rotting meat). Then, you get a shot of Brennivin (Iceland’s strong schnapps).

U.K.SCOTLAND’s Caber Toss

Part of Scotland’s long traditional Highland Games, a test of strength of brute Scottish men in kilts, the Caber Toss is the most strenuous of all the games. An athlete will hold the bottom of the caber, which is roughly the size of a telephone pole, and throw it into the air. The caber should land in a straight line away from the athlete.

FINLAND’s Eukonkanto

No annual marathon is as weird as this – wife-carrying. In Sonkajärvi, Finland, husbands literally carry their wives and race. Men should carry their wives either by the fireman’s carry or Estonian style – when a woman holds her husband’s waist while she is upside-down with her legs wrapped around his shoulders. The goal – win.

GERMANY’s Männertag

Father’s Day in Germany is quite the sight. You’ll see groups of men – of all ages (except pre-teen boys), shapes, and sizes – pulling wagons packed to the brim with beer and a whole lot of liquor that will ensure a tremendous migraine and hangover the next day. Männertag (men’s day) is not limited to fathers and is open to any man who wants to demonstrate his caveman side.