Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Go-to-Gay: Far away festivities

If you give a Go-To-Gay a topic, he will then take it and run with it, making us laugh along the way. He does that once again with our "Around the World" theme.

Take it away, Keith!

La la la la la - It goes around the world

I love to travel. I am usually up for most any adventure offered up to me. “Travel the world,” is my most used answer when asked what I would do if I won the lottery.

Ideally, that sounds great. I mean, who wouldn’t want to do that. Imagine how many “likes,” “hearts,” and “retweets” you would get for a picture of yourself standing on the steps of the Taj Mahal (not really sure if the TM has steps, I’m just assuming). I would also be one of those people who take a picture of themselves “holding up” the leaning tower of Pisa. Yes, I am that guy. DON’T JUDGE.

Realistically, I don’t think I would actually want to go everywhere around the world, because let’s face it, I am a wuss. I am a spoiled, entitled American. I admit it. I don’t care. If your culture is shockingly different than mine, I probably would prefer learning about it online or from an informative documentary. For instance, I MUST HAVE a modern toilet that is attached to working plumbing. I MUST HAVE food that is something other than insects or parts of animals I normally don’t eat. I would PREFER to visit places that have good toilet paper readily available, access to full bars and modern kitchens, and some air conditioning.

That being said, there is a great big world out there that I haven’t seen. Places that I would go and want to go and, hopefully, will go. While thinking about this post, I decided to make a list of the places and things I wanted to see most. Then, I found even better stuff. There are some tremendous festivals out there if you just look hard enough. I now have a list of the ones I want to attend at some point. Here is part of that list:

Keith’s Festivals “I Must Attend List”

The Baby Jumping Festival – Spain

The origin of this festival dates back to the early 1600’s. It is held early during the feast of Corpus Christi. The gist is this: all parents who have had babies during the year since the previous festival, bring their children out and lay them down on pillows in the public street. Then men dressed as devils make their way through the crowd and whip bystanders with switches before running down the street jumping over the babies. This hurdling somehow blesses the babies and forgives them for man’s “original sin.” To add to the intrigue of this festival, the Pope and the Vatican have been trying to stop it for years, but these rebel-Catholics won’t stop. This takes places every June in the town of Castrillo de Murcia.

Lopburi Monkey Banquet – Thailand

I have never been, but apparently Thailand has thousands of monkeys that hang out at its temples and in its streets. Hungry monkeys. During most the year, these monkeys are a nuisance, and people must be careful not to have their lunch or snacks stolen by a sneaky simian citizen. But come November, the people of Lopburi, Thailand, celebrate these quirky fellas, and treat them to a massive food banquet. It’s basically an all-you-can-eat for monkeys only. Each year, over 800 pounds of bananas, apples, ice cream, and other monkey favorites are devoured at the festival. This is to say thanks for the good luck and fortune the monkeys bring to the people of the town each year. The guests of honor are also known to have quite the food fights while feasting as well. This takes place the last Sunday in November in Lopburi.

World Toe Wrestling Championships – England

The story goes that tired of England always losing at all international sports, George Burgess invented this sport in hopes that his home country would dominate. George apparently had lots of faith in the strong toes of the British people. As fate would have it, though, a dang Canadian soon came along and out-toed all the home players and took the crowd. Honestly, the colonists ruin everything (Are Canadians considered colonists? I’m not really sure, and I am on a deadline, so throw me a bone here.)

But from the ashes of Burgess’ dashed global toe domination, came the sport of toe wrestling. There is even an official Federation. THAT MEANS IT IS REAL. There is even a starting chant that is done before each match: “One, two, three, four, I declare a toe war,” or some variation of that. Each year, the world championships are held in Ashbourne, and while not an official festival, there are plenty toe-related festivities centered around the competition.

That’s the top three from my new list. How about you? Where in the world would you like to go? Are there any festivals that you know of I should add to my itinerary? Please let me know in the comments below. Let’s create a Chick Lit Central Must See Festival List!

Keith Stewart is the author of Bernadette Peters Hates Me – True Tales of a Delusional Man. A native of Appalachia, he splits his time between his hometown of Hyden and nearby Lexington, Kentucky. His blog is You can find him on Twitter at @Shiglyogly and Facebook at @AMSCOT (A Strong Man’s Cup of Tea). He is a regular contributor to and the He lives with his husband, Andy, and their two dogs, Duke and Dudley.


The Book Sage said...

Cool stuff.

Keith S. said...


Janine said...

Those are definitely some unusual festivals. I laughed at the part about whipping the adults at the baby festival in Spain. There are a few adults that I know who deserve a good whipping. LOL! And, I totally have to agree with you about needing to go some place that has good bathrooms and toilet paper. I don't see myself going someplace that doesn't. I am too used to my modern comforts.