Surprisingly the sporting event of climbing a greased-up slippery pole is quite common around the world. These traditional events are essentially the same - there is a long pole covered in grease, lard, or some other lubricant, and participants attempt to climb or walk along the pole to get to the other end, where there may be a prize or flag to recover.
Here is only a small sample of the greasy pole events held around the world:
- Il-ġostra — In Malta, a greased pole is placed over the harbor at an angle. The aim of the game is to run to the end of the pole and grab a flag.
- Gloucester's Greasy Pole Contest — This event is held annually during St. Peter's Fiesta in Gloucester, Massachusetts USA. Participants attempt to cross a horizontal wooden pole in the middle of Gloucester Harbor to grab an Italian flag at the end of the pole.
- Panjat Pinang — a game played to celebrate Independence Day in Indonesia. Participants climb a greased pole in groups trying to reach precious gifts on top of the pole.
- The Sport of Pole Climbing — involves climbing very high wooden poles as fast as possible.
- Fierljeppen (also called Canal Jumping) — contestants using a long pole, vault across a canal.
- Log Rolling — two challengers attempt to stay on a floating log the longest.