#3. Monkey Buffet Festival -- The World's Most Adorable Thanksgiving
Every year in in the Lopburi province of Thailand, around 10,000 locals gather to indulge in a huge feast prepared by the country's top chefs. After the guests have eaten their fill, they traditionally engage in wholesome group activities such as climbing trees, humping in the grass and flinging feces at one another. Oh, and did we mention that the guests are all monkeys?
And that Coke is made out of monkey blood?
While the Lopburi Monkey Buffet Festival might have a name that conjures up images of the childhood-ruining dinner scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the monkeys in question are actually the guests of honor, not the main course. See, the long-tailed macaques in the area are considered to be the descendants of Hanuman, a Hindu monkey god.
Via Kevin Rajeev Persad
Pictured, with ceremonial bong.
It stands to reason for Hindus that feeding their deity's progeny will bring about success and prosperity. This is especially true for the local monkey shit-cleaner who's putting a kid through college off this festival alone.
The monkey food is probably better than the shit you eat, too. This two-ton banquet can cost upward of $15,000 -- no surprise, given that it's prepared by 20 of the top chefs in Bangkok and includes sausage, ice cream, fruit, milk, jelly and all sorts of other stuff that might be better off going to starving children. Fuck it -- monkeys are way more fun than them, anyways.
Via Chris Huh
Even the psychotic ones. Especially the psychotic ones.
Though it might seem a bit odd to blow so much cash on gourmet dining for animals who are just as content to eat the bugs that live in their sister's back hair as anything else, the superstition about them bringing prosperity is actually kinda true. The festival attracts thousands of tourists to the Lopburi area, increasing the revenue of the cities that have the most monkeys. And if that's not enough of a reason to love the scruffy little disease balls, we don't know what is.
#2. Day of Conception -- The Induced Labor Day
For the past decade or so, Russia has been having a little trouble getting it up -- the national birthrate, that is. It's become such an issue that the government now even offers money for couples willing to churn out multiple lil' Ruskies. After all, there needs to be a new generation to take over the country someday.
Thankfully, every problem has a solution. In fact, some problems have multiple solutions, ranging from sensible and well-planned to over-the-top and probably sort of unnecessary. Enter Sergey Ivanovich Morozov, a man who preferred the latter. As Governor of Ulyanovsk, he declared a new holiday on September 12 called the Day of Conception, in which citizens are given the day off work to get down to a very different kind of business.
Why September 12? Because it falls exactly nine months prior to the equally bluntly named Russia Day. Not only is the purpose of the Day of Conception to eventually litter the ground with Tolstoy toddlers, but it's also intended to ensure their birthdays line up with Russia's biggest national holiday, in order to breed a race of super-soldiers, we assume.
While some extra free time and an excuse to fuck like Tribbles sounds pretty rad in and of itself, this celebration doesn't merely end five seconds after climax. The party picks back up in June when Russia Day rolls around, and the big patriotic boning contest becomes the big patriotic showcase showdown.
And if someone forgets your birthday, it means they just don't like you.
As the fun-size Yuri Gagarin's get popped out, moms get fabulous prizes, including cash, appliances and in one lucky case, a brand new car. Really though, the best part about a fucking contest is that there are no losers. Except, of course, the babies born on June 13.
Worthless piece of shit.
#1. Up Helly Aa -- The Drunken, Flaming Viking Parade
Given that the good people of Scotland tend to celebrate by drinking whiskey, tossing giant logs and eating a sheep's heart, liver and lungs wrapped in its own stomach, it might come as little surprise that those crazy Bravehearts know how to throw one hell of a shindig. While some holidays are observed with eating, and others with gifts, Up Helly Aa, an annual festival celebrated all throughout Shetland, is celebrated in one simple way: fire.
Think of how much more meaningful Christmas would be if everything was on fire.
In each town in the region, large groups of sweaty, presumably drunken Scotsmen gather together and play Viking for a day, swearing their allegiance to their squad's "Guizer Jarl," a grand marshal of sorts. Participants wear badass armor, carry Viking weapons and even design unique coats-of-arms to honor their leader.
They stumble down streets with gasoline-soaked torches belting out slurred Norse anthems about Thor or the Midgard Serpent or some shit, as the procession symbolically brings the replica boat toward the mythic afterlife of Valhalla, because ... why the hell not? It's better than staying home on a Tuesday night.
Like a Renaissance fair, but not embarrassing to be seen at.
Upon arriving at the end of the parade route, they wind that thing down in the style any self-respecting Viking would: burning the ship to the motherfucking ground.
And putting it out with a long, beer-fueled, unified piss.
The especially odd thing is that even though this booze-fueled burn-ward-waiting-to-happen march is all about Vikings, Up Helly Aa isn't actually an ancient Norse holiday at all. Its origin dates back only to the late 1800s, and it's widely believed the holiday was created as an excuse for bored soldiers to party and riot after coming home from the Napoleonic Wars. So remember, the next time you and your buddies have an extra-wild costume party, you very well could be starting a tradition that will carry on for centuries.
And to our hard-partying forefathers, we simply say, "Thank you."
For more awesome shindigs, check out The 7 Most Unexpectedly Awesome Parties in History. Or see what happens when the Internet gets together.
And stop by LinkSTORM to join the Internet party. (There is fruit punch and cake.)
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