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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 August 15, 2018

                                                          7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                                          7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                                          Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                                                          Video Summary

                                                          Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                                                          There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                                                          This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                                                          Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                                                          In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                                                          One Exercise, multiple benefits

                                                          There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                                                          By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                                                          When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                                                          Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                                                          In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                                                          What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                                                          What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                                                            1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                                                            Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                                                            • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                                                            • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                                                            • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                                                            • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                                                            2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                                                              Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                                                              Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                                                              3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                                                                Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                                                                4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                                                                  Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                                                                  A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                                                                  A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                                                                  On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                                                                  5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                                                    Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                                                    6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                                                      Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                                                      7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                                                        Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                                                        How to hold a plank position

                                                                        1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                                                        2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                                                        3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                                                        4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                                                        5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                                                        6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                                                        7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                                                        Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                                                        Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                                                          How to improve your plank time gradually

                                                                          1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                                                          2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                                                          3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                                                          Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                                                          Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                                                          You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                                                          • Prolapse
                                                                          • After prolapse surgery
                                                                          • Pelvic pain conditions
                                                                          • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                                                          • Previous childbirth
                                                                          • Overweight

                                                                          Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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