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8 famously messy festivals

By: Josh Lew on Nov. 18, 2013, 2:52 p.m.
Competitors throw themselves down Coopers Hill in pursuit of a round Double Gloucester cheese

Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

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Cooper Hill Cheese Rolling

Though it does involve food (cheese, to be specific), this event in Gloucester, England does not include a messy food fight. However, it does allow people to live out another childhood fantasy: running out-of-control down a grassy hill. A wheel of cheese (wrapped in red and blue in the picture) is rolled down the steep hill and then the racers tumble after it, with the first one to the bottom winning the cheese. The steep slope and slippery grass mean that grass-stained clothing (and even grass-stained skin) is an inevitable part of the race.

In recent times, the race has been the source of safety concerns. Though it is no longer officially sanctioned (as of 2010), the cheese rolling still takes place annually in May with racers coming from all over the world to take part.