Irrespective of your thoughts about cold winter weather, it's hard to deny the beauty of the season. Everything in winter seems beautiful, from a sunny day with fresh snow to traditional winter adventurous activities. And in different regions of the world, the onset of winter is welcomed in their own unique way. Some enjoy winter pies and cakes, while others have their best time creating snow sculptures. There are also some places where these celebrations are a little out of the ordinary.
The festivals, along with languages, traditions, and rituals, demonstrate the diversity and richness of a culture. There are some wacky winter celebration ideas that will make you scratch your head. Despite their bizarreness, such festivals are nonetheless enjoyed with full enthusiasm. From gigantic ice cities to massive food battles to hair freezing, these are some of the world's most crazy, beautiful, yet bizarre winter celebration ideas. Being a part of these festivals will make you grateful for how wonderful the winter season is.
We took a look around and found some weird rituals and celebrations that honor the change of the season and the arrival of winter. Read on and find some of the most unusual celebrations that take place every year in the mesmerizing winter season.
Take a look!
The legendary Quebec Winter Carnival is one of the most bizarre winter celebration ideas. Its history dates back to 1894 in the beautiful and charming Quebec City. With the arrival of winter, this city becomes the center stage for the wildest party that welcomes over 800,000 attendees. This bone-chilling but fun-filled celebration includes graffiti, parades on freezing nights, a snow sculpture contest or workshops, human-powered foosball, ax throwing, ice-cold snow baths, curling, a polar plunge, and many more activities. To make the most of the time at the celebration, visitors are served with a carnival staple drink- Caribou.
Where: Quebec City
When: February 4, 2022 – February 13, 2022
Frozen Dead Guy Days is unarguably one of the strangest winter celebration ideas in the world. This wacky festival takes place in the gorgeous tiny mountain town of Nederland. The tale behind this festival is as strange as its name. The celebration honors “Grandpa” Bredo Morstoel, who was a Norwegian immigrant, and his body was entombed in dry ice at a shed in the neighboring hills. He died of heart disease, and his family decided to have him cryogenically frozen. After years of twists and turns, this story turned into a legend, and the city kept things strange by creating Frozen Dead Guy Days in honor of the ‘dead guy.’ This three-day festival offers coffin racing, live music under heated tents, a frozen t-shirt contest, ice turkey bowling, a parade of hearses, and more.
Where: Nederland, Colorado
When: March 13, 2022 – March 15, 2022
Busójárás is one of the strangest winter celebration ideas that brings an end to the chilling winter season. It is a celebration by the Okci people in Mohacs, Hungary. The festival takes place in March and features the terrifying Busó masks. This outrageous event is a perfect blend of pagan rituals, folk dance, and demonic masks to ward off the waning days of winter. It is also regarded as a local Croatian minority celebration that recreates the 16th-century Battle of Mohacs, with hundreds of busós arriving on rowboats marching through the city and burning a coffin in the town square. Apart from this, several events take place through the celebration like art displays, costume contests, live music, dancing, and more.
Where: Mohacs, Hungary
Montana's Whitefish Winter Carnival is another great addition to the list of peculiar winter celebration ideas. There’s nothing ‘normal’ about this festival; in fact, it seems like a plot straight out of Game of Thrones. The bizarre story of the celebration is based on the Norse god of snow, Ullr, who was impressed by the beauty of Montana's Flathead Valley and decided to make it his new home. The calmness of the village was short-lived as a gang of Yetis, or abominable snowmen, attempted to kidnap his queen. The royal family escaped this tragedy, and hence, Whitefish locals celebrate every year by joining forces with Ullr to drive the Yetis back into the hills. The celebration includes a children's carnival, parade, skiing, and disco party.
Where: Montana, USA
When: April 4, 2022 – April 6, 2022
Harbin International Ice And Snow Sculpture Festival is one of the world’s largest and most renowned winter celebration ideas. What makes it bizarre is the freezing temperature of January, which is usually less than -12°C. During this time, the Harbin turns into a city carved out of ice with the Songhua River completely frozen. Ice from such places is collected and transported to the exhibition venue by sleigh. This ice is then carved into smaller cubes and crafted into thousands of sculptures. The scale and intricacy of the sculptures are jaw-dropping and look even more beautiful when LED lights illuminate the structures. With so much ice and eye-pleasing artwork, Harbin turns into a candy-colored fantasyland during the celebration.
Where: Harbin, China
Up-Helly Aa, a.k.a Up Holy All, is Europe’s largest fire festival and one of the strangest winter celebration ideas that take place among various communities in Shetland, Scotland, and marks the end of the Yule season. This festival is celebrated a bit differently by greeting winters with a fiery display of warmth. Here, the local men on St. Ninian's Isle dress up like Vikings and set things on fire with blazing torches while parading around the town of Lerwick and making their way through the dark streets. The torchlit procession of guizers or mummers remains the highlight of the festival. It welcomes thousands of attendees every year, including both locals and tourists, to celebrate the rich legacy for all to witness.
Where: Uyeasound, Shetland Islands
When: January to March
Regardless of how good the intention is, some of these celebrations are downright crazy and are still alive and thriving. Although they are weird and strange in their own way, they represent kindness and bonhomie. And the wonderful thing about these celebrations is that they are celebrated with utter joy and glee. Of all the peculiar festivals around the world, the aforementioned ones are the craziest winter celebration ideas. If you find this interesting, pin this article and attend at least a few of them this season.