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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 January 21, 2020

                                                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                                          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                                                          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                                                            Why You Need a Vision

                                                            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                                                            How to Create Your Life Vision

                                                            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                                                            What Do You Want?

                                                            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                                                            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                                                            Some tips to guide you:

                                                            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                                                            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                                                            • Give yourself permission to dream.
                                                            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                                                            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                                                            Some questions to start your exploration:

                                                            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                                                            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                                                            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                                                            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                                                            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                                                            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                                                            • What qualities would you like to develop?
                                                            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                                                            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                                                            • What would you most like to accomplish?
                                                            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                                                            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                                                            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                                                            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                                                            A few prompts to get you started:

                                                            • What will you have accomplished already?
                                                            • How will you feel about yourself?
                                                            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                                                            • What does your ideal day look like?
                                                            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                                                            • What would you be doing?
                                                            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                                                            • How are you dressed?
                                                            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                                                            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                                                            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                                                            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                                                            Plan Backwards

                                                            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                                                            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                                                            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                                                            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                                                            • What important actions would you have had to take?
                                                            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                                                            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                                                            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                                                            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                                                            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                                                            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                                                            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                                                            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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