World’s Most Extreme Celebrations

4. Suwa Onbashira (Japanese Log-Riding Festival)

This next one sounds like it comes out of a 12-year-old’s dream. But it’s very real and very dangerous. Every six years, residents from Japan’s Lake Suwa area cut down massive trees, and ride the logs down super-steep mountains. The festival represents the spiritual renewal of four shrines in the region.

Photo from Getty Images

Photo from Getty Images


As big as these 15-meter logs are, sometimes you still need room. So, villagers attach ladder-like structures on the log to occupy more raging hooligans.

After they clear the slopes, participants carry the logs through a lake toward the shrines. Finally, they raise the logs by the four shrines using ropes. To add to the show, some party animals climb the logs as they’re erected. Each ritual sees hundreds of injuries. Some have also died.

In Suwa, such a fatality is considered an honorable death.

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