by Samantha Chalker in New Events on Tuesday 30 October 2012

La Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme, or the Festival of Near Death Experiences, makes an absolute mockery of La Tomatina and Running with the Bulls on the scale of crazy experiences and culture. Just like the name suggests, the event recognises individuals that came freakishly close to kicking the bucket during the year that’s gone by.

In most parts of the world, people would just say a quick prayer of thanks and sink a couple of tallies. But that’s not exactly the Spanish style. Rather, the aforementioned near deathers jump into (actual) caskets and get carried to a local hill by friends and family. Here, they take a moment to reflect upon the fate they so skillfully missed. With all caskets up on the hill and moments for pondering life complete, normal behavior kicks back in and everyone gets boozed and watches fireworks. A very strange spectacle, indeed.