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Our top 5 weird and wonderful European festivals
From lobbing tomatoes at strangers to squealing like a swine, whatever you’re into there’s a festival out there for you, and we promise we won’t judge.
Here are five from around Europe that we reckon are well worth a visit.
1. Air Guitar World Championships (27 August, Finland)
Limber up, dig out your Brian May wig and grab some talc for your old leather trousers (we know you’ve still got a pair) to dive headfirst into this brilliantly bizarre gathering. Watch the pros battle it out in a face melting extravaganza of imaginary instruments to take home the crown. Who’ll be the champion and who will just be another one to bite the dust?
2. La Pourcailhade (10 August, France)
Only the French could come up with something like this. La Pourcailhade, (the pig festival to you and I), is a celebration of all things porky. Pig racing, fancy dress and eating competitions are made to look tame in the insanity stakes by the “Pig-Squealing Championships” in which contestants have to imitate the squeal of a pig at various stages of its life. You really could not make this stuff up.
3. La Tomatina (27 August, Spain)
This epic tomato battle starts with members of the public trying to climb a greased pole to collect a ham that’s been placed on top. This bizarre ritual is made to look relatively normal, however, when someone finally manages to grab the meat and all hell breaks loose. Trucks full of tomatoes are driven in and the fruit flies left, right and centre. You’ll come away with bruises, aches, pains and a faint tomato scent that’ll linger for weeks. It looks worth it to us.
4. Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival (29 August, Ireland)
Claiming to be Europe’s largest matchmaking festival, every year Lisdoonvarna plays host to a wave of incoming singletons, all looking for Mr or Mrs Right. With live Irish music in the local pubs and dances heading in the small hours of the morning we can’t promise you’ll meet ‘The One’, but it’s a pretty good bet you’ll have one heck of a night.
5. Concurs de Castells (28 September, Spain)
This makes any human pyramid you attempted back in the day on the school field look positively tame. In a nutshell, thousands of people come along to see teams battle it out to be the best at standing on each other’s shoulders. The towers can reach up to ten storeys, with the upper levels made primarily with small children. Small children, big cojones.
Whatever you get up to on the continent, you’ll pay just £1.99 for the days you use data with O2 Travel. So you can share your experiences with friends and family with no catch and no scary bill to keep you awake at night.* (We can’t say the same about imaginary guitars, tomatoes or pigs).
Visit www.o2.co.uk/travel for details or text TRAVEL to 23336 to opt in.
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