World Festivals: My Top 4 Messiest

If you plan your trip to attend one of these world festivals, make sure that you pack a set of old clothes that you don’t mind ruining.

My Top 4 Messy World Festivals

La Tomatina Festival, Spain

What happens when thousands of people gather during the last Wednesday in August and throw a hundred tons of ripe tomatoes at each other? The result is a big red juicy, slippery food fight until the streets run with rivers of tomato sludge.

This festival takes place in the Spanish town of Bunol, Valencia and it also includes dancing, parades, music and fireworks.

La Tomatina Festival
La Tomatina Festival: Photo Dahon / CC 2.0

Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea

One of messiest world festivals takes place annually in July in the town of Boryeong, which is around 200km south of Seoul. The festival organisers bring huge trucks of mud from the Boryeong mud flats and truck it to the Daecheon beach area. The Boryeong Mud Festival was actually created in the 1990s as a promotional stunt to advertise a line of cosmetics made from Boryeoung mud.

The events at the festival include mud slides, a mud pool, mud skiing competitions and much more. There is also live music, competitions and a small marketplace that sells cosmetics made using Boryeong mud.

Boryeong Mud Festival
Boryeong Mud Festival

La Batalla del Vino, Spain

The Spanish really like to throw food at each other – this time it is wine. The “Battle of Wine” takes place on St. Peter’s Feast Day in June in a small town called Haro in La Rioja, one of the most beautiful wine producing regions in the country.

Thousands of people will gather together with plastic jugs filled with wine and squirt each other until everyone is soaked. Then, they will eat delicious food, drink wine and dance the night away.

La Batalla del Vino, Spain
La Batalla del Vino, Spain: Photo BigSus / CC 3.0

Holi Festival, India

This is a spring Hindu religious festival that is celebrated all over India, Nepal and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus. The festival begins with a bonfire where people sing and dance, then the next morning is when participants throw dry powder and coloured water on each other.

At the end of a Holi celebration, you will be covered from head to toe in bright shades of pink, yellow, green, blue and all other colours of the rainbow.

These are just a few of the messiest world festivals. Have you ever attended any of these celebrations on your travels? Share your stories in the comments!

Holi Festival, Chennai, India
Holi Festival, Chennai, India: Photo Amre / CC 2.0

About Kelly Dunning


A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word. She and her English boyfriend Lee run, packed full with travel guides, stories and inspiration for those who dream of travel. They have been location independent and travelling the world digital-nomad style for the last three years, with no address, no car and no fixed schedule.

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One Response

  1. Top 7 Not-to-miss Festivals around the world | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] La Tomatina is like a food fight in kindergarten that’s gotten out of control. It’s the world’s biggest food fight – a real stress buster. The festival began in the 1940s when the police had to intervene in a fight outside a veggie stall with veggies being thrown about. How this fight started a worldwide festival, no one knows. But it did, and we’re definitely happy about it. […]


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