Posts Tagged With: fun festivals

Fun Festivals – Rock, Paper, Scissors

 

A rock

I wish I had known about the following event when I was more athletic, agile, and the intellectual terror of the world. But whatever your skill level, run, jump and hop to the Rock, Paper, Scissors World Championship in Toronto, Canada. Rock, paper, scissors (RPS) is often called the best non-violent resolution to conflicts the world over. It must be so; Canadian RPS grand masters have successfully kept their country out of major conflicts for decades. Culinary personal trainers will tell would be contestants to dedicate 30 minutes each day to finger-flexing, wrist-twisting, and elbow-bending exercises if they wish to do at all well at the championship. Cross training by playing chess is often recommended as well.

RPS hit the big time when, In 2004, Fox Sports Net(tm) televised its championship. The success of the movie Dodgeball piqued the entertainment’s industry in kids’ sports. Indeed in 2007 the documentary  Rock Paper Scissors: A Greek Tragedy, depicted concerns that the Rock-Paper-Scissors game would lose its soul soul to corporate America, In fact  some RPS leagues even had Bud Light Girls(tm) performing at tournaments.

Some people with too much time on their hands said that RPS is not really sport, like curling. Proponents of RPS say, “Na, na, poo, poo to you” pointing to the high level of concentration needed to perform well, like in chess. Top-notch players watch themselves in mirrors to see if they show any tells; moves that tell the opponent what you’re going to do. Just like poker.

This is the spot where’d I tell you when the tournament is the take place and describe entry fees, side events, etc. Alas and alack, Toronto hasn’t held a championship in years. Neither have other major cities. At its peak, RPS tournament ran at a loss, even with corporate sponsorship. Also, fans are fickle, they’ve deserted RPS for trendier sports such as hopscotch and curling. So, no more RPS. Life is hard.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., Travel Advisor

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

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Fun Festivals – Wife Carrying Championships

 

The best way to carry the wife

Ronkainen, a legendary Finnish robber of the 1700s, had would-be gang members carry a heavy woman over an obstacle course to prove their strength. The annual wife-carrying championships in Sonkajaarvi, Finland derive from this test. Wife carrying is not an Olympic sport. However, synchronized swimming is.

Couples race around a track well stocked with obstacles such as logs and a deep pool. At one time, the woman in the event had to be the man’s wife, but neighboring women are allowed. The designated wife must weigh 49 kilograms or 108 pounds. You might think a good wife for this race would be as tiny as possible. But no, the winners earn the wife’s weight in beer. The wife must also be at least seventeen-years old. The entry fee as press time was 50 Euros.

Olympians and marathon runners compete alongside, amateurs, and strange couples on their honeymoons. This seems unfair, but in some respects, the Wife Carrying Championship remains a wide-open sport. And oh my gosh, in addition to the regular race, there is a relay race as well. Root heartily for you favorite team.

Add in the karaoke events, you’ll want to return time and time again. And not just to Finland. National championships exist in America, Britain, Germany, India, Hong Kong, and Australia. Surely, there must be a wife-carrying race near you.

Oh no, the 2021 championship was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. Middle of next summer, then.

See you there

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., travel guru

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Ant Nest Sitting

Finland hosts Ant Nest Sitting Competitions. Athletes–whom am I kidding?–sit on an ant hill for as long as they can stand the ant bites. This competition is held all over the country during the summer months. It truly helps to have a high threshold for pain or an ass harder than bronze. Okay, I find this competition to be weird, but there are those who love it.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Swamp Soccer World Cup

Love soccer? Lover a shorter game? Love mud?  Head on over to Finland and Scotland.* The last Swamp Soccer World Championship (SCWC)  I could find took place in Finland. It might have even been held in Hyrynsalmi, Finland  At any rate, the SCWC is usually held in Finland in the middle of June (Sorry, you missed it this year.) 200-to-300 teams from all over the world compete. The SCWC which has been organized by the so-called Swamp Barno Jyrki Väänänen** since 1998. There are five different ways to compete: men’s, women’s, mixed, men’s hobby, and Masters of Swamp.

The Soccer World Cup is usually held in Scotland on the last weekend of June, just after the World Championship in Finland.. There are rumors of it being held in China, India. and Turkey.

Six players are on each side. Each half lasts for 12 minutes. There are no offside penalties. This is fantastic for all those who never understood the rule in the first place. Other little rules abound. As of about 2018, no Polish team had ever competed.

For my Italian readers, these four sentences translate as Ami il calcio? Ami un gioco più breve? Ami il fango? Dirigiti verso Finlandia e Scozia.

For my English speaking readers, this translates as Swamp Baron Jyrki Väänänen who got the whole thing started. Yay Jyrki!

Swamp soccer arose from the practice of Finnish cross-country skiers to train in swamps.

Mud soccer is lots of fun. Be sure to register for the next Swamp Soccer madness, whether in Finland, Scotland, or whenever. Let me know how it turns out.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

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