Travel | Posted 11 Sep 2012

From comedy to arts and music festivals, the summer has been packed full of events for individuals and families to enjoy. But aside from the traditional festivals, some weird and wonderful events around Europe have caught the eagle eye of Jurys Inn staff. So much so we thought they were worth a mention.

Carmarthen Merlin Festival

Wales’s oldest town Carmarthen hosts the Merlin Festival each year, celebrating the world’s most famous wizard - Merlin!

On the day, Carmarthen is blitzed with magicians, wizards and bunting. Everything from storytelling to folk music and arts and craft workshops take place, with mystical events such as a magic academy and themed stilt walkers adding an enchanting aura to proceedings.

Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival

In the Cornish town of Falmouth, the Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival (try saying that fast five times) brings groups of people together to sing about wild seas while drinking. The festival aims to preserve the tradition of shanties - raucous songs sung by sailors – and has experienced a revival in the last couple of years with the younger generation now keeping the tradition alive.

Cheese Rolling in Gloucestershire

Another wonderfully weird event is the Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling festival, which has been held in the county since 1940. It sees a group of people gather to ...em, roll cheese up and down a hill. Actually, there’s a race involved, and believe it or not it gets a lot of interest from younger people.

Baby Jumping in El Colacho

Perhaps the weirdest of all festivals -  and Spain has its fair share of them - is the Baby Jumping festival, or El Colacho, which has been taking place there since the 1600s.

Every year, parents (who could be described as irresponsible) place their young babies down on the ground, and men, dressed up as devils, jump over them. This tradition is thought to cleanse the babies of evil. We’re wincing just thinking about the possibility of a jump going wrong.

The Wife Carrying World Championships

We’re not sure what to make of our next festival either, the annual Wife Carrying World Championships in Finland. Each year hundreds of wives agree to allow their husbands to carry them while trying to traverse obstacles. You’d have to trust him a lot, wouldn’t you?

While the world championships take place in Finland, you can catch some smaller races closer to home. Ireland and the UK have their very own wife carrying races in the form of the Irish Wife Carrying Championship in Sneem, Co Kerry and the UK Wife Carrying Race in Surrey.


In Ireland, fans of the programme Father Ted have been celebrating all things Craggy Island for the past seven years with TedFest in Galway. The annual convention, which takes place in February, is held on Inishmore island, and sees fans of the very popular show enjoy a range of ‘Father Ted’ type activities.

These have included Lovely Girls contests, hide a nun and seek, Ludo aerobics, a virtual confession box and matchmaking.

Have attended any of these festivals? Join us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ and let us know!

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