Freaky Friday: When the holiday season isn’t for Santa

The holiday period is one of festive cheer and good spirits. It is a time for holiday getaways and fun with family and friends.

As the holidays set in, we look at some of the weirdest festivities celebrated around the world. Move aside Santa Claus with your jolly self. Planning a trip to the coast? Well, seaside vacations hold nothing to some of the rather unusual holidays.


Here are four of the most unusual holidays celebrated around the world.

Tinku ‘Punch your neighbour’ Festival

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Santa might need to train before he travels to Bolivia.


While we generally frown upon punching people, sometimes bad things happen, and someone is fed a knuckle sandwich. However, people don’t generally have a holiday focusing on knocking the snot out of someone. Except if you are Bolivian apparently.

This pre-Hispanic festival is held at the beginning of May and has its roots set in the pre-Hispanic era. According to legend, the earth goddess Pachamama demanded blood in exchange for a good harvest. It seems the best way to get blood was to give your neighbour a good beating.

This is one cultural activity I think I will give a skip.

Up Helly Aa

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Fancy a bonfire? Like Vikings and drinking? Well, this might be the holiday just for you. Up Helly Aa refers to a variety of fire festivals held in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. It takes place in the middle of winter, marking the end of the Yule season.

The festival involves a procession of people, dressed in themed costume, who march through their respective towns and village.

The festivities end with the throwing of fire at a replica of a Viking ship. This is one festival which will surely light your way to a happy New Year.

Hadaka Matsuri


Yeah, I am never going to participate in this festival. I will rather take part in the Tinku ‘Punch your neighbour’ Festival.

Hadaka Matsuri or the ‘naked man festival’ takes place in Japan on the third Saturday of February. It is usually one of the coldest nights of the year.

For the so-called celebration, thousands of Japanese men strip down to loincloths. Some will go even further. Why? To test their manhood and bravery, so they can secure luck throughout the year.

Beer Day

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This is one festival I will gladly partake in. Beer Day is held on annually on March 1. It is a day where pub crawling is totally acceptable, just as long as you’re having a beer.

How did this rather fun day begin? Well, Beer Day is held in honour of the elimination of the 74-year prohibition of beer. This took place from January 1, 1915, to March 1, 1989.

With the holiday season set to take place in a matter of days, we hope your festive season is a great one. Have yourself a Freaky Friday.

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