If you're looking for weird events, go to Finland. You won't believe what the Finns are up to when it comes to weird annual events, contests, and similar activities...and so here they are, the world's 13 weirdest events!
1. Wife Carrying World Championships
Each summer, this weird event in Sonkajärvi, Finland
, becomes more and more popular. The wife-carrying contest has been at a world championship level for over 13 years now.
Finland is the home of cellphone manufacturer Nokia, but it is unclear if they have anything to do with this weird event. Ever wanted to throw your phone? Join the World Cell Phone Throwing Championships taking place each August in Savonlinna, Finland.
A weird event for music lovers: The Air Guitar World Championship in Oulu, Finland. Ever played the air guitar? It's not easy to get in as a contestant, but it's a lot of fun to watch. Part of the Oulu Music Video Festival in late summer. You can also watch a 2006 documentary about this event, called Air Guitar Nation
4. Mosquito Swatting ChampionshipsThis is one of the weirder ones: Try swatting as many mosquitoes as you can, in 5 minutes. Can you swat 20 or 30? If not, learn from the pros at the annual Mosquito Swatting Championships in Finland.
5. Ant-Nest Sitting Competition
Let's sit on an ant nest! Well, if you're not quite up for that, just watch and enjoy the contestants suffer while they place their buttocks on an ant hill for as long as possible... (Various locations in Finland
6. Ice Swimming Events
Whether in the nude, or clothed, ice swimming is popular in Finland (e.g. in Helsinki
). There are events in many areas. So whether you're looking for a quick ice-cold shock, or nude beaches in Scandinavia
, Finland is the destination for you!
7. World Cup in Snowshoe FootballFinland
also has football (for USians: soccer)! No, not the regular kind, but the unique kind: Snowshow Football. Goooal!
Not quite as weird as other annual events in Finland
, the Sauna World Championships test how long the competitors can tolerate a humid 110º Celsius in a Finnish sauna
. A very popular annual event in Heinola, Finland, taking place each August. Perspire, and persevere!
Both summer festivals are of course aimed at adult visitors
, but are kept very professional, educational, and tasteful. The town of Kangasniemi hosts the Sex Festival, while the Matchmaking Festival takes place in Kurikka, in western Finland. Remember, sexuality in Scandinavia
is not a taboo.
Looking for a weird sports event? Go to the world championship of swamp football - or swamp soccer. It requires the body to be much more physical and coordinated. Hyrynsalmi in northern Finland is the location for this annual event.