Are you ready for a deep-dive into Europe’s quirkiest events?
Pancakes, beer floating, golden retrievers – whatever tickles your fancy, trust us, there’s a festival for you in Europe, from jumping over babies in Spain, to floating down a river in Finland, drinking beer! Here are a few of our favourites.
Air Guitar World Championship, Oulu, Finland
The Air Guitar World Championship was formed in 1996 with the aim of promoting peace. The season kicks off in the winter when national level competitions are held. Then the various national champions travel to Oulu, Finland, for the World Championship in the last week of August. It is accessible, equal and all-round good fun!
Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival, England
The Kettlewell Scarecrow festival occurs annually to raise money for the local primary schools, the church and the village hall. The whole community takes part in the creative nine-day celebration, showing off their scarecrow making skills!
Golden Retriever Festival, Scotland
The Guisachan Gathering is a week-long event held by the Golden Retriever Club of Scotland. This annual event attracts hundreds of global pups to their ancestral birthplace - Tomich. You can expect a dog show, a torchlight procession and a formal dinner dance, alongside fun games and contests – maybe even a friendly ‘boop’!
El Colacho, Castrillo de Murcia, Spain
This annual festival dates back to the 1620s and celebrates the triumph of good over evil. During the festival, masked ‘devils’ run through the streets insulting the villagers until the drums initiate ‘el salto del Colacho’ – the flight of the devil. Babies, born in the previous year, are laid on mattresses where the ‘devils’ hurdle over them in order to absorb their sins!
Wattolümpiade (Mud Olympics), Brunsbüttel, Germany
This fundraising event brings athletes from all over the world to Elbe Schlick beach for a mud-filled Olympics. They compete in sports such as volleyball, handball and sled racing! So far, more than €440,000 have been donated to improve structures sustainably for cancer sufferers. This event promotes a ‘dirty sport for a clean cause’ and we love it!
Olney Pancake Race, Buckinghamshire, England
This 550-year-old tradition in Buckinghamshire is thought to be the world’s oldest pancake race. The women from the town dress up as traditional housewives and race 415 yards whilst flipping a pancake. Shrove Tuesday just got a whole lot more interesting!
Kaljakellunta Beer Floating Festival, Vantaa, Finland
This festival is for the free-spirited individual. No definitive plans, no rules, no tickets to be sold – simply bring your own boat and beer – and then, just float! This event has become so popular that companies are marketing boats with built-in coolers and cup holders.
Perhaps the world of events is more weird and wonderful than you thought. Inspired to get involved yourself in events? Why not apply for our BA (Hons) Event, Venue and Experience Management degree at Birmingham City Business School?