Can you think of anything better than rolling around in mud, then getting up and pushing your friends back into it? How about rolling around in the mud, then getting up and pushing a random stranger into it?
It sounds too good to be true, but in South Korea, Boryeong Mud Festival happens once a year and social norms are out of the window. Millions of people from Korea and around the world flock to this event every year. If you happen to be in Korea at the time that it happens, it is one of the ‘must participate’ events of the year.
Everybody gets into their swimming costumes and enters a fairground of swampy proportions. There are slides, obstacle courses, and tug of war competitions all focused around one thing; mud! Back in 1998, the ‘small’ festival was started to show the skin benefits of the mud, but now revellers are clearly not here to experience the health benefits.
Favourite attractions include the wrestle pit where everybody within it has around a minute to throw mud at one another, or more favourably, throw one another into the mud. Essentially it is a giant paddling pool filled with lovely brown slime, making it near impossible to walk in, let alone stand up in once pushed.
Despite the attractions around (such as eat an eighth of a watermelon in 30 seconds to win lots of money), the burning sensations of one’s eyes, the plastic bag cocktails, and the incredibly long queues to get onto many of the attractions, you will never ever be able to play in the mud like little kids again.
As a teacher in Korea for a year, it was an absolute necessity to visit this festival. The kids thought we were mad. Get to this festival, jump in the mud, and be as young as you want to be. Everybody else is.