Delicious Irony – The Festival of the Unusual

While the rest of France was celebrating Bastille Day – their national holiday – with military marches and parades, the little town of Mahalon marked the occasion with an atmosphere of fun and carnival…and a bit of hospital bed racing.It is perhaps not surprising that the people of Mahalon do things a little differently than […]

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Everything is (STR)AWesome – Durrow Scarecrow Festival

The European Bazaar project has now been underway for 4 months. Sadly it has been set against the distressing backdrop of the twin Malaysia disasters, the international apathy toward the massacres in Gaza and the political collateral damage of the war in the Ukraine. And it’s times like these that it is is easy to forget that […]

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Mud, Sweat and Beers – Germany’s Mud Olympics

Driving north we are on the upward span of a long, arching bridge. Up ahead the girders of the bridge, set against the monotone grey-blue sky, make it look as if we are driving towards a door in the firmament, opening into a hazy Great Beyond. It’s not too far from the truth. As we […]

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Tweed and the Face Weasel – Surrealist sports at the Chap Olympiad

And I’m disqualifying that team for an Americanish display of mutual congratulation – the High Five. Sirs, you should know better.’ – Judge, MC, and executioner. The Chap Olympiad is a strange place to discover a revolution. It is also likely the only festival that you’ll hear the exclamation, ‘Syphilis? Marvelous!’ from a man wearing […]

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Beautifully Bizarre – The Warped World of Bodypainting

The guy in the corner of the bar has a gaping headwound. It looks as if someone has only recently removed the axe. Yet even so, he’s chatting happily with his wife – cupping her hand in his – and with two others people at the table. This would probably seem strange under normal circumstances […]

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Nun Bingo at the Hopping Procession of Echternach

For 1000 years the people of Echternach in Luxembourg have been celebrating the life and achievements of their chosen saint, the good St Willibrord. In fact, they’ve been celebrating it for so long that no one actually remembers why they celebrate the way they do. They just do, and that’s good enough for them. To […]

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Random Ramblings in Switzerland and Italy

As One Small World racks up the kilometres in search of Europe’s weirdest festivals, I’ve been lucky to come across many wonderful places on the road. And just like each of us have our idiosyncrasies, inexplicable sillinesses, and definite sense of self, so too do the places that we inhabit. Whether intentional or not, we […]

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EUROPE’S MOST OUTRAGEOUS FESTIVAL

Winner announced: Wednesday 5th Nov 2014 Scratch Europe’s distinguished surface and underneath you’re likely to find a sequined spandex jumpsuit. For all its pomposity, ceremony and history Europe is a vast petri dish of cultures, each bubbling with their own subversive predilections. As the European Bazaar project has shown, Western Europe’s penchant for strange and wonderful festivals spans […]

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