8 places where nobody will notice you aren't wearing pants
It was the 14th annual No Pants Subway Ride on 11 January, where commuters all over the world headed to work on public transport – sans trousers. Which got us thinking... where else can you blend in with the masses with no pants on?
Hadaka Matsuri - Japanese Naked Festival
Whip off your dacks and pop on your Japanese loin cloth to join the festivities at Hadaka Matsuri. Thousands of scantily-clad men come together to compete in what is like a huge wrestling mosh pit. At midnight, the lights are turned out and a pair of sacred sticks are thrown into the crowd. The men struggle to get hold of the sacred sticks and, once they have them, try to thrust them into a box heaped with rice. Ummm, yeah. Japanese people sure know how to do random stuff well.
The prize for this competition is luck for the entire year. That's a pretty cheap shout for the organisers - kudos to them for meeting their prize budget. Interested in a trip to Japan's winter festivals?
San Francisco's Bay to Breakers
This 12-kilometer foot race through the streets of San Francisco embodies the sprit of the city – pretty free range and slightly kooky. With one hundred years of history, it's a classic event – part race, part parade. There's serious runners competing alongside (well, in front of) thousands of people in an endless montage of off-beat costumes.
Come as Elmo, a dinosaur, a slice of watermelon, a pink gorilla, or a storm trooper. Anything goes. Men in gold bikinis, women in tutus, and a small contingent of completely nude runners. Wearing pants in this environment would be positively over dressed.
This trip can have you in San Fran for Bay to Breakers on 17 May.
World Bodypainting Festival, Austria
If you are keen to get your pants off, and are great at sitting still for a long time, consider putting yourself forward as a model in the World Bodypainting Festival in Austria. Colourful, creative, weird and beautiful designs are painted directly onto bodies by the world's best bodypainting artists. Well, let's be honest. There's also a fair smattering of ugly designs by the world's less-talented artists.
Burning Man is a week-long festival of 'community, art, radical self expression and radical self reliance' held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. It's a highly-principled event – everyone is responsible for bringing everything they need for a week in the desert and for carrying everything out. Everyone performs, everyone brings gifts. Massive artworks are assembled and then burnt.
Part hippie, part arty, part greenie, part Mad Max in the desert. With all the radical-ness that goes on here, pants are an entirely optional affair. (By the way, this year's pre-sale tix have just been released at $800 a pop. So you need to be a cashed-up hippie.)
Check out our recommended Utah, Nevada and California trip
Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea
Two million people slopping around in pools of trucked-in mud on a beach in South Korea. Perhaps the perfect trouser-less event.
World Naked Bike Ride
'As bare as you dare' is the dress code of the World Naked Bike Ride. A bike seat is the nude is not the most comfortable idea we've ever heard of, but plenty of people are out there, bottoms up, supporting the message of cycling advocacy and the vulnerability of cyclists on the road.
The event is held in cities around the world, and is usually accompanied by generous doses of music, public art, performance and a general air of festivity. May we suggest, however, you might like to keep your undies on for this one. Especially on a hot day. Ouch.
The 'Naked City' of Cap D'Agde
If you fancy going to the bank, the shops, or out to dinner entirely naked, Cap d'Agde is the place for you. It's a seaside resort town in the south of France with a large naturist village and a mandatory nude beach. They take their nudity pretty seriously. Clothing not required anywhere anytime. Not for the fainthearted. (Read: Don't go. Unless you are a slightly pervy, wobbly middle-aged man.)
The biggest party in the world, a place where anything goes. The smaller and glitzier the costume, the better. The bigger and glitzier the headwear, the better. Get amongst the chaos for a huge samba-and-sequins celebration. Pants strictly for rookies.
If you are interested in visiting this year's Rio Carnivale, you'd better be quick – it's only a few weeks away. Go on, live for the moment. Book your ticket and pack your bags. Just don't take any pants.
Talk to us for more travelling and pants-free advice and inspiration.