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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 July 28, 2020

                                                          14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

                                                          14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

                                                          Diet trends may come and go, but a low-GI diet remains one of the few that has been shown to include benefits based on science. Low GI foods provide substantial health benefits over those with a high index, and they are key to maintaining a healthy weight.

                                                          What is GI? Glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which the carbohydrate content of a food is broken down into glucose and absorbed from the gut into the blood. When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream.[1]

                                                          The higher the GI of a food, the faster it will be broken down and cause your blood glucose (sugar) to rise. Foods with a high GI rating are digested very quickly and cause your blood sugar to spike. This is why it’s advisable to stick to low GI foods as much as possible, as the carbohydrate content of low GI foods will be digested slowly, allowing a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels.

                                                          Foods with a GI scale rating of 70 or more are considered to be high GI. Foods with a rating of 55 or below are considered low GI foods.

                                                          It’s important to note that the glycemic index of a food doesn’t factor in the quantity that you eat. For example, although watermelon has a high glycemic index, the water and fiber content of a standard serving of water means it won’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar.

                                                          Like watermelon, some high GI foods (such as baked potatoes) are high in nutrients. And some low GI foods (such as corn chips) contain high amounts of trans fats.

                                                          In most cases, however, the GI is an important means of gauging the right foods for a healthy diet.

                                                          Eating mainly low GI foods every day helps to provide your body with a slow, continuous supply of energy. The carbohydrates in low GI foods is digested slowly, so you feel satisfied for longer. This means you’ll be less likely to suffer from fluctuating sugar levels that can lead to cravings and snacking.

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                                                          Let’s continue with some of the best examples of low GI foods.

                                                          1. Quinoa

                                                          GI: 53

                                                          Quinoa has a slightly higher GI than rice or barley, but it contains a much higher proportion of protein. If you don’t get enough protein from the rest of your diet, quinoa could help. It’s technically a seed, so it’s also high in fiber–again, more than most grains. It’s also gluten-free, which makes it excellent for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

                                                          2. Brown Rice (Steamed)

                                                          GI: 50

                                                          Versatile and satisfying, brown rice is one of the best low GI foods and is a staple for many dishes around the world. It’s whole rice from which only the husk (the outermost layer) is removed, so it’s a great source of fiber. In fact, brown rice has been shown to help lower cholesterol, improve digestive function, promote fullness, and may even help prevent the formation of blood clots. Just remember to always choose brown over white!

                                                          3. Corn on the Cob

                                                          GI: 48

                                                          Although it tastes sweet, corn on the cob is a good source of slow-burning energy (and one of the tastiest low GI foods). It’s also a good plant source of Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, all of which are required for the healthy production of red blood cells in the body. It’s healthiest when eaten without butter and salt!

                                                          4. Bananas

                                                          GI: 47

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                                                          Bananas are a superfood in many ways. They’re rich in potassium and manganese and contain a good amount of vitamin C. Their low GI rating means they’re great for replenishing your fuel stores after a workout.

                                                          They are easy to add to smoothies, cereal, or kept on your desk for a quick snack. The less ripe they are, the lower the sugar content is! As one of the best low GI foods, it’s a great addition to any daily diet.

                                                          5. Bran Cereal

                                                          GI: 43

                                                          Bran is famous for being one of the highest cereal sources of fiber. It’s also rich in a huge range of nutrients: calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and a host of B vitamins. Although bran may not be to everyone’s tastes, it can easily be added to other cereals to boost the fiber content and lower the overall GI rating.

                                                          6. Natural Muesli

                                                          GI: 40

                                                          Muesli–when made with unsweetened rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, and other sugar-free ingredients–is one of the healthiest ways to start the day. It’s also very easy to make at home with a variety of other low GI foods. Add yogurt and fresh fruit for a nourishing, energy-packed breakfast.

                                                          7. Apples

                                                          GI: 40

                                                          Apple skin is a great source of pectin, an important prebiotic that helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Apples are also high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, and contain a good amount of vitamin C. They are best eaten raw with the skin on! Apples are one of a number of fruits[2] that have a low glycemic index. Be careful which fruits you choose, as many have a large amount of natural sugars[3].

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                                                          8. Apricots

                                                          GI: 30

                                                          Apricots provide both fiber and potassium, which make them an ideal snack for both athletes and anyone trying to keep sugar cravings at bay. They’re also a source of antioxidants and a range of minerals.

                                                          Apricots can be added to salads, cereals, or eaten as part of a healthy mix with nuts at any time of the day.

                                                          9. Kidney Beans

                                                          GI: 29

                                                          Kidney beans and other legumes provide a substantial serving of plant-based protein, so they can be used in lots of vegetarian dishes if you’re looking to adopt a plant-based diet[4]. They’re also packed with fiber and a variety of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. They are great in soups, stews, or with (whole grain) tacos.

                                                          10. Barley

                                                          GI: 22

                                                          Barley is a cereal grain that can be eaten in lots of ways. It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), fiber, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium. It also contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that can support gut health and has been shown to reduce appetite and food intake.

                                                          Please note that barley does contain gluten, which makes it unsuitable for anyone who is Celiac[5] or who follows a gluten-free diet. In this case, gluten-free alternatives might include quinoa, buckwheat, or millet.

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                                                          11. Raw Nuts

                                                          GI: 20

                                                          Most nuts have a low GI of between 0 and 20, with cashews slightly higher at around 22. Nuts, as one of the best low GI foods, are a crucial part of the Mediterranean diet[6] and are really the perfect snack: they’re a source of plant-based protein, high in fiber, and contain healthy fats. Add them to smoothies and salads to boost the nutritional content. Try to avoid roasted and salted nuts, as these are made with large amounts of added salt and (usually) trans fats.

                                                          12. Carrots

                                                          GI: 16

                                                          Raw carrots are not only a delicious low GI vegetable, but they really do help your vision! They contain vitamin A (beta carotene) and a host of antioxidants. They’re also low-calorie and high in fiber, and they contain good amounts of vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for those monitoring their weight as they’ve been linked to lower cholesterol levels.

                                                          13. Greek Yogurt

                                                          GI: 12

                                                          Unsweetened Greek yogurt is not only low GI, but it’s an excellent source of calcium and probiotics, as well. Probiotics help to keep your gut microbiome in balance and support your overall digestive health and immune function. Greek yogurt makes a healthy breakfast, snack, dessert, or a replacement for dip. The most common probiotic strains found in yogurt are Streptococcus thermophilus[7] (found naturally in yogurt) and Lactobacillus acidophilus[8] (which is often added by the manufacturer). You can also look into probiotic supplements for improving your gut health.

                                                          14. Hummus

                                                          GI: 6

                                                          When made the traditional way from chickpeas and tahini, hummus is a fantastic, low-GI dish. It’s a staple in many Middle Eastern countries and can be eaten with almost any savory meal. Full of fiber to maintain satiety and feed your good gut bacteria, hummus is great paired with freshly-chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery.

                                                          Bottom Line

                                                          If you’re looking to eat healthier or simply cut down on snacking throughout the day, eating low GI foods is a great way to get started. Choose any of the above foods for a healthy addition to your daily diet and start feeling better for longer.

                                                          More Tips on Eating Healthy

                                                          Featured photo credit: Alexander Mils via unsplash.com

                                                          Reference

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