Wednesday, December 29, 2010

✈Worldwide Wednesdays: Weird Sports/Events #4

Takanakuy - Peru Annual Fighting Festival - Peru
I know, I know, you are all wondering what's so 'weird' about this event. Not much other than the fact that this Annual Fighting Festival is for everyone - that includes women and children!
Members of the Chumbilbilca community near Cusco in Peru mark Christmas Day annually by taking part in a series of public bare-knuckled fights to settle scores ahead of the New Year.
The annual tradition, known as Takanakuy, aims to air pent-up grievances and apparently strengthens community relationships.
The event is mediated by refererees and, it is claimed, rarely results in serious injuries.
Hard feelings set aside, the day is wrapped up with a celebratory dance.

Source: BBC News

La Tomatina - Spain
La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, in which participants throw tomatoes at each other. It is held the last Wednesday in August, during the week of festivities of Buñol.

Tomatina in 2006
pic by Wiki user Lobo

 In 1944, during a parade of gigantes y cabezudos, young men who wanted to participate in the event staged a brawl. Since there was a vegetable stand nearby, they picked up tomatoes and used them as weapons. The police had to intervene to break up the fight, and forced those responsible to pay the damages incurred.
The following year the young people repeated the fight, only this time brought their own tomatoes from home. They were again dispersed by the police. After repeating this in subsequent years, the party was, albeit unofficially, established.

Source:  Wikipedia

World Nettle Eating Championship - UK
The Bottle Inn hosts the annual World Nettle Eating Championships as part of a charity beer festival. Competitors are served 2-foot (0.61 m) long stalks of stinging nettles from which they pluck and eat the leaves. After an hour the bare stalks are measured and the winner is the competitor with the greatest accumulated length of nettles.

Stinging Nettle

The contest began in the late 1980s when two farmers argued over who had the longest stinging nettles in their field and evolved into the World Nettle Eating Championships when one of the farmers promised to eat any nettle which was longer than his.
The championship has separate men’s and women’s sections and attracts competitors from as far afield as Canada and Australia.

In June 2010 Sam Cunningham, a fishmonger from Somerset won the contest, after eating 74 feet of nettles.

What's the big deal you say? Well try eating just one of these leaves never mind an entire branch! The plant has many hollow stinging hairs called trichomes on its leaves and stems, which act like hypodermic needles that inject histamine and other chemicals that produce a stinging sensation when contacted by humans and other animals.
Source:  Wikipedia

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