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7 Craziest Festivals In The World You Should Never Miss

7 Craziest Festivals In The World You Should Never Miss

Festivals are like dream worlds within this real one where participants can get lost in a trance of awe, magic, and adrenaline as they experience vividly colorful sights and sounds, the smell and taste of foreign cuisine, and a unique culture. If you have a spirit for adventure, this visual guide will make you want to jump on a plane right now to check out some of the world’s craziest festivals.

1) Festival de San Fermín (Running of the Bulls)

Pamplona, Spain — July 6th–July 14th, 2015

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          The annual Running of the Bulls, also known as la Festival de San Fermín, is a gnarly, non-stop party where you can eat, drink, dance, listen to music and party all night and wake up to an adrenaline-packed, half-mile run with six furious bulls and six steers chasing you into an ancient Spanish arena where you get to feel like Russell Crowe for about an hour as you dodge a different oncoming bull every 10 minutes or so.

          If you’re a hardcore adrenaline-junkie willing to experience one of Spain’s most famous festivals running the risk that you can get gored by a bull… you need to attend the next one between July 6th and 14th.

          When I ran this two years ago, my friends and I didn’t have a room reservation so we left our backpacks in a luggage storage by a bus station and decided to stay up all night off of Red Bulls (which I’ll never drink again), jam out to the live concerts in the town, and do the run in the morning. One cool perk is that Pamplona had free wifi during the event and I made sure to Skype call my mom that I was running with bulls in two hours.

          I can attest that the run was easily one of top five craziest experiences of my life. A few tips I have for first-time runners are:

          – you’re safer by the side of the street
          – cut the corner on the steep right turn (you’ll know what I’m talking about)
          – when you run into the arena, clear out to a side
          – wear festive colors (white shirt and pants with a red scarf and bandana)

          2) La Tomatina

          Buñol, Spain — August 26th, 2015

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              The World's Biggest Tomato Fight At Tomatina Festival

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                  The pictures above may look like a blood bath, and La Tomatina is… but with tomato juice and held annually in Spain on the last Wednesday of every August. An average of 40,000 people show up in a small town to enjoy an hour of the world’s largest food fight, then they party out the rest of the day.

                  I rolled up here spontaneously in 2012 and it was a crazy, tomato-packed hour of pegging and being pegged by tons of tomatoes. The mass of participants was turned into a human margherita pizza thanks to the blistering sun, and I watched my shoes dissolve in the pools of tomato juice. I left the event thinking I wouldn’t eat tomatoes for another year, shoeless and shirtless, spending the last bit of my pocket change on a tomato and ham sandwich while intoxicated from buckets of sangria my fellow festival friends and I enjoyed.

                  If you want to experience the world’s largest food fight, love tomatoes, are vegetarian, or want to party with a bunch of loco people… this is a must-attend for you.

                  3) Holi

                  New Deli, India — March 6th, 2015

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                      Holi, The Festival of Colors, India

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                          If the idea of a massive food fight at La Tomatina sounded awesome too you, you’re going to love Holi. Also known as the festival of love, Holi represents the triumph of good over evil. Here, festival-goers engage in a celebration of color by dousing each other in a variety of colored powders. There’s an ancient Hindu back story behind the purpose of Holi that you can check out in preparation for the next one on March 6th, 2015!

                          4) Up Helly AA

                          Lerwick, Shetland — January 27th, 2015

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                                  Like Game of Thrones or Lord of The Rings? Here’s your chance to live like you’re in that time era. I have yet to attend Up Helly AA and only recently discovered how awesome it looks, however you can find more info here.

                                  5) Oktoberfest

                                  Munich, Germany — September 19th–October 4th, 2015

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                                          Dirndels and lederhosens, beautiful women and drunk men combine at this crazy festival packed with some of the world’s finest beer as everybody celebrates the harvest season. The history of Oktoberfest goes back to 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Sax-Hildburghausen and citizens of Munich were invited to attend festivities in the field in front of the city gates. Over 200 years later, we still celebrate!

                                          Enjoy one-liter steins of your favorite German beers, eat delicious Bavarian food, do the chicken dance, and enjoy the festival rides… just don’t puke.

                                          I went with a group of German friends and it was described to me as “Narnia for men.” (I would say the same title still holds true.) Pro-tip: get to the tents as early as possible to guarantee seating.

                                          6) Burning Man

                                          Black Rock City, Nevada — August 31st – September 7th, 2015

                                           

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                                                  For one week, Black Rock City becomes the third largest populated city in Nevada… before it’s all taken down with no trace of existence. I have yet to go to this festival, and plan to next year. From what I’ve heard, it is so epically bizarre I don’t even think a description will help explain what Burning Man is all about. There are live DJs, a naked sushi camp, TED talks, amazing art and people, and more… all living in a gifting society that they have created.

                                                  If you’ve read up to this point, my guess is you want to experience the world’s craziest videos .Assuming that, check out this video of a virgin “burner’s” experience at Burning Man and come join me at the Playa next year!

                                                  7) The World Cup

                                                  various locations — 2018 to be held in Russia

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                                                        Fussball WM 2014: Deutschland ist Fussballweltmeister 2014

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                                                          The World Cup is quite possibly the most epic of world festivals I’ve been to. With a TV viewership of over a billion people, 16 national teams play against each other head to head to win the glorious title of World Cup champions. The first one took place in Uruguay back in 1930 and tradition has kept them continuing once every 4 years, from June to July for a month of amazing performances of football (soccer), supported from the sidelines by crazy fans and lots of celebration.

                                                          It brings people together from different nations, parts of the world, and cultures; a wonderful time for celebration and unity. If you want to experience the diversity of the world’s nations come together for outstanding sports performances, you need to come to Russia in 2018 for the next World Cup.

                                                          Featured photo credit: Daniel Malikyar via danielmalikyar.squarespace.com

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                                                          Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                                                          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                                          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                                          Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                                                          You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                                                          Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                                                          1. Work on the small tasks.

                                                          When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                                                          Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                                                          2. Take a break from your work desk.

                                                          Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                                                          Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                                                          3. Upgrade yourself

                                                          Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                                                          The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                                                          4. Talk to a friend.

                                                          Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                                                          Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                                                          5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                                                          If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                                                          Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                                                          Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                                                          6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                                                          If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                                                          Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                                                          Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                                                          7. Read a book (or blog).

                                                          The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                                                          Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                                                          Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                                                          8. Have a quick nap.

                                                          If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                                                          9. Remember why you are doing this.

                                                          Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                                                          What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                                                          10. Find some competition.

                                                          Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                                                          Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                                                          11. Go exercise.

                                                          Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                                                          Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                                                          As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                                                          Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                                                          12. Take a good break.

                                                          Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                                                          Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                                                          Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                                                          Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                                                          More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                                                          Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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