Making a Mess

Holi Festival
Be prepared to be transformed into a walking rainbow of sorts. Celebrated with much fervour at the start of spring, the Holi festival sees a riot of colourful scenes erupt throughout India and is quite rightly known as the Festival of Colours for good reason. Festivities begin on the eve of Holi close to midnight with the lighting of bonfires. The main highlight takes place on Holi’s final day when everyone takes to the streets throwing coloured powder and dyed water. These harmless tools of combat are traditionally made with medicinal herbs like neem, haldi and bilva, and the activity is meant to show devotion and respect to deities, friends and family members. From city streets to rural villages, there are plenty of opportunities to be a part of this merriment, which traditionally celebrates the victory of good over evil.

When: 13 March, 2017
Where: Most cities and rural areas in India


International Pillow Fight Day
Who says pillow fights are just for children? Yes, there is a day dedicated to pillow fighting where you get to relive your childhood dream. Raise your fluffiest pillows, bolsters and duvets and ruffle some feathers in a massive street combat with random strangers. Inspired by the film Fight Club, massive, organised pillow fights in the form of “flash mobs” started to gain popularity and scale with the help of social networking sites. Now, this friendly and harmless combat takes place in more than 100 cities all over the world each year, from Hungary to Taipei to Vienna. Seems like no one’s taking it lightly.

When: 1 April, 2017
Where: Major cities around the world, or organise your own featherweight bout!


Boryeong Mud Festival
Join in the muddy madness and slather yourself in mineral-rich mud at South Korea’s most popular summer festival, which began in 1998 as a marketing move to promote the beneficial effects of the local mud at Boryeong mud flats. Now, millions of people descend upon Daecheon Beach to enjoy an array of mud-themed events over a 10-day period, including mud sliding, mud wrestling, mud massages, and even a mud boot camp. Beyond the mud fest, the event also features an impressive entertainment line up of international hip hop and pop acts as well as a spectacular fireworks display.

When: 14 to 23 July, 2017
Where: Daecheon Beach in Boryeong, about 200 kilometres south of Seoul


La Tomatina
One of the world’s biggest food fights, La Tomatina literally paints the town
red – with squashed tomatoes. While the origin of the festival is uncertain, this tradition that started in 1945 involving the pelting of tomatoes at one another has attracted so many people that town officials started to introduce an entry fee and a cap on the number of participants from 2013 onwards. Revellers usually come armed with goggles for protection and end up waddling in a sea of tomato pulp that’s knee-deep.

When: 30 August 2017
Where: Buñol town in Valencia Province, Spain