10 Wacky Small Town Festivals


Boryeong Mud Festival

Participants enjoy the mud fiesta at the Boryeong Mud Festival on July 12, 2008.
Participants enjoy the mud fiesta at the Boryeong Mud Festival on July 12, 2008.
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

If the muddy scenes from Woodstock have always appealed to you, then you'll want to experience the Boryeong Mud Festival in South Korea, where you can willingly participate in all things mud-related. This festival, which began in 1998, attracts about 1.5 million visitors to Boryeong.

One of Boryeong's most prevalent natural resources is mud. In fact, about 9.9 million square meters of this grayish stuff can be found in the area. But this isn't your run-of-the-mill mud. This mud, certified by the Korea Institute of Geology for its high quality, is rich in minerals like germanium and bentonite, which can be used to prevent wrinkles. Making use of this resource, festival organizers haul mud from the Daecheon beach each July for visitors to languish in -- enjoying mud baths, mud massages and mud wrestling.

Other attractions include mudslides, mechanical rodeo rides, mud body-painting contests, mud sculpture contests and a huge communal mud bath. You can also battle it out on mud floats, inflatable rafts in the middle of huge mud ponds. Don't worry: If things get too dirty, you can rinse off in a public shower and retrieve your clothes in a nearby storage locker. Due to the popularity of the festival, many restaurants and hotels have cropped up in the area. There's even a free tour bus that you can take to nearby attractions where you can see everything from coal mines to a Buddhist shrine.

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