Tuesday, May 14, 2013


   We have all heard of unusual championships, such as caber tossing – but I am certain that almost no one will have heard of the six bizarre championships listed here. This is a great opportunity for us all to learn about other people’s interests, and to maybe consider entering ourselves next year!

8.  Pig Squealing Contest

   In Trie-sur-baise, France, a pig squealing contest is held every year. The contest involves standing before a microphone and squealing like a pig. Besides the pig-squealing, there were awards in the Sunday competition for pigging out — this year’s winner ate nearly 4 feet of blood sausage in under five minutes. I am very pleased to be able to present a youtube clip from the contest – but unfortunately the person who added the clip to youtube doesn’t seem to want people to share it easily – so you must

7.  Gumboot Throwing Festival

   Every year in the small New Zealand town of Taihape, the residents and visitors have a gumboot throwing contest. The aim of the festival is to break the world record for the longest gumboot throw. It is a real fun family event, which includes a number of other competitions like the best-dressed gumboot and "shoot the loop" with gumboots. Gumboots can also be tossed skyward on any day of the year in the official Gumboot throwing lane located in the "Outback", just behind the main shopping centre. The festival takes place on “Gumboot Day”. There is even a kiwi folk song based on gumboots – it is called The Gumboot Song.

6.  Air Guitar Championships

    The Air Guitar Championships started in Finland in 1996. In these championships the contestants pretend to play electric guitar solos. There are two rounds in this contest. In the first round, the participant chooses his or her favorite song and plays that song in the edited 60-second format. In the second round, the contestant has to play a song chosen by the organizers.

5.  Extreme Ironing World Championships

   The Extreme Ironing World Championships started in Leicester, UK in 1997. This is an exciting and dangerous sport. Anyone who would like to participate should be ready for ironing a few items of laundry, preferably on a difficult climb of a mountainside, ice or under water. Anybody from any part of the world can participate.

4.  World Beard and Mustache Championships

   The first World Beard and Moustache Championships took place in Höfen-Enz, Germany, in 1991. The contestants have long, highly-styled facial hair like moustache and beard. Last time these championships were held in Brighton, England in 2007.  This time they will be held in Alaska on 23rd May, 2009.

3.  Wife Carrying Championships

   The Wife Carrying Championship is held in Sonkajrvi, Finland every July. To enter this contest, every man must come with a wife (not necessarily his own) who is at least 17 years old and weighs at least 49 Kilograms. If she is less than 49 kilograms, he must add additional weights up to the prescribed weight. He must reach the destination by crossing sand, grass and asphalt. If he drops his wife, he loses 15 points. The winner is awarded with his wife’s weight in beer.

2.  World Pillow Fighting Championship

   The World Pillow Championship is held in July in Kenwood, California. In this championship each contestant holds a wet feather pillow in one hand and slither along the slippery wet pole (suspended over a pit of mud) to the starting positions. There are certain rules in this contest: the contestants’ hands cannot touch the pole and they cannot use their feet to unseat their opponents. Each contestant must swing the pillow with one or both hands for every 30 seconds until they manage to topple their opponents into the mud.

1.  World Sauna Championships

   The World Sauna Championship takes place in Heinola, Finland every August. This championship was started in 1999. The competitors must sit in a 110° sauna and half a liter of water is added every 30 seconds. They must sit erect with their thighs and buttocks on the seat. They cannot touch any surface with their hands and forearms have to be in an upright position and must stay on their knees. The person who sits longest is the winner.


     Cambodian New Year (Khmer) or Chaul Chnam Thmey, in the Khmer language, literally "Enter Year New", is the name of the Cambodian holiday that celebrated the New Year.  The holiday lasts for three days beginning on New Year's day, which usually falls on April 13th or 14th, which is the end of the harvesting season, when farmers enjoy the fruits of their labor before the rainy season begins.  Khmer's living abroad may choose to celebrate during a weekend rather than just specifically April 13th through the 15th.  The Khmer New Year coincides with the traditional solar new year in several parts of India, Myanmar and Thailand.
   Cambodians also use Buddhist Era to count the year based on the Buddhist calendar.  For 2011, it is 2555 BE (Buddhist Era).

The Three Day of The New Year

Maha Songkran
   Maha Songkran, derived from Sanskrit Maha Sankranti, is the name of the first day of the new year celebration.  It is the ending of the year and the beginning of a new one.  People dress up and light candles and burn incense sticks at shrines, where the members of each family pay homage to offer thanks for the Buddha's teaching by bowing, kneeling and prostrating themselves three time before his image.  For good luck, people wash their face with holy water in the morning, their chests at noon, and their feet in the evening before they go to bed.

Virak Wanabat
   Virak Wanabat is the name of the second day of the new year celebration.  People contribute charity to the less fortunate by helping the poor, servants, homeless, and low-income families.  Families attend a dedication ceremony to their ancestors at the monastery.

Tngay Leang Saka
   Tngay Leang Saka is the name of the third day of the new year celebration.  Buddhists cleanse the Buddha statues and their elders with perfumed water.  Bathing the Buddha images is the symbol that water will be needed for all kinds of plants and lives.  It is also thought to be a kind deed that will bring longevity, good luck, happiness and prosperity in life.  By bathing their grandparents and parents, children can obtain from them, best wishes and good advice for the future.

New Years Customs

   In temples, people erect a sand hillock or temple grounds.  They mound up a big pointed hill of sand or dome in the center which represents sakyamuni satya, the stupa at Tavatimsa, where the Buddha's hair and diadem are buried.  The big stupa is surrounded by four small ones, which represent the stupas of the Buddha's favorite disciple:  Sariputta, Moggallana, Ananda, and Maha Kassapa.  There is another tradition....pouring water or liquid plaster (a mixture of water with some chalk powder) on someone.
   The Khmer New Year is also a time to prepare special dishes.  One of these is a "kralan", a cake made from steamed rice mixed with beans or peas, grated coconut and coconut milk.  The mixture is stuffed inside a bamboo stick and slowly roasted.

Khmer Games

   Cambodia is home to a variety of games played to transform the dull days into memorable occasions.  These games are similar to those played at Manipur, a north eastern state in India.  Throughout the Khmer New Year, street corners often are crowded with friends and families enjoying a break from routine, filling their free time with dancing and games.  Typically, Khmer games help maintain one's mental and physical dexterity.  The body's blood pressure, muscle system and brain are challenged and strengthened for fun.
   A game played by throwing and catching a ball with one hand while trying to catch an increasing number of sticks with the other hand.  Usually, pens or chopsticks are used as the sticks to be caught.

Chol Chhoung
   A game played especially on the first nightfall of the Khmer Yew Year by two groups of boys and girls.  Ten or twenty people comprise each group, standing in two rows opposite each other.  One group throws the "chhoung" to the other group.  When it is caught, it will be rapidly thrown back to the first group.  If someone is hit by the "chhoung," the whole group must dance to get the "chhoung" back while the other group sings.

Chab Kon Kleng
   A game played by imitating a hen as she protects her chicks from a crow.  Adults typically play this game on the night of the first New Year's Day.  Participants usually appoint a strong player to play the hen who protects "her" chicks, while another person is picked to be the "crow".  While both sides sing a song of bargaining, the crow tries to catch as many chicks as possible as they hide behind the hen.

Bos Angkunh  
    A game played by two groups ob boys and girls.  Each group throws their won "angkunh" to hit the master "angkunhs", which belong to the other group and are placed on the ground.  The winners must knock the knees of the losers with the "angkunh".  "Angkunh" is also the name of an inedible fruit seed, which looks like a knee bone.

Leak Kanseng
   A game  played by a group of children sitting in a circle.  Someone holding a "kanseng" (Cambodian towel) that is twisted into a round shape walks around the circle while singing a song.  The person walking secretly tries to place the "kanseng" behind one of the children.  If the chosen child realizes what is happening, he or she must pick up the "kanseng"

Bay Khon
   A game played by two children in rural or urban areas during their leisure time.  Ten holes are dug in the shape of an oval into a board in the ground.  The game is played with 42 small beads, stones or fruit seeds.  Before starting the game, five beads are put into each of the two holes located at the tip of the board.  Four beads are placed in each of the remaining eight holes.  The first player takes all the heads from any hole and drops them one by one in the other holes.  He or she must repeat this process until they have dropped the last bead into a hole that lies besides any empty one.  Then they must take all the beads in the hole that follows the empty one.  At this point, the second player may have his turn.  The games ends when all the holes are empty.  The player with the greatest number of beads wins the game.  It is possibly similar to congkak.

Klah Klok
   A game played by Cambodians of all ages.  It is a gambling game that is fun for all ages involving a mat and some dice.  You put money on the object that you believe the person rolling the dice (which is usually shaken in a type of bowl) and you wait.  If the objects face up on the dice are the same as the objects you put money on, you double it.  If there are two of yours, you triple, and so on.


Pecan Pie Cake

   A decadent Pecan Pie Filling is used instead of frosting between the layers of this moist cake. Your guests will love the mix of cake and pie, not to mention the out-of-this-world taste.


  • 3 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted and divided
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • large eggs, separated $
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • recipe Pecan Pie Filling
  • recipe Pastry Garnish (optional)


  1. Sprinkle 2 cups pecans evenly into 3 generously buttered 9-inch round cakepans; shake to coat bottoms and sides of pans.
  2. Beat 1/2 cup butter and shorteningat medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Add flour and baking soda to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in remaining 1 cup finely chopped pecans.
  4. Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form; fold one-third of egg whites into batter. Fold in remaining egg whites. (Do not overmix.) Pour batter into prepared pans.
  5. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until done. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Invert layers onto wax paper-lined wire racks. Brush tops andsides of layers with corn syrup, and cool completely.
  6. Spread half of Pecan Pie Filling on 1 layer, pecan side up. Place second layer, pecan side up, on filling; spread with remaining filling. Top with remaining layer, pecan side up.
  7. Arrange Pastry Garnish on and around cake, if desired.