Weird History
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The 13 Wildest Parties In History

Updated June 4, 2018 1.8k votes 335 voters 23.3k views13 items

List RulesVote up the historical ragers that are better than any modern party you've been to.

Most history classes leave out one of the best parts of the past: all the crazy parties. The biggest bashes in history included a punch bowl so huge that a boy rowed a boat in it and an ancient Egyptian tradition where everyone got black-out drunk on beer – and that's just the beginning when it comes to the best parties ever.

Some wild celebrations took a dark turn, like the French Bal des Ardents, during which the king narrowly avoided burning to death in the middle of a wedding. Others are just strange, like when Andrew Jackson invited 10,000 people to the White House to devour 1,400 pounds of cheese, which left behind an "evil-smelling horror." And then there was the banger at the Vatican with prizes for whoever got intimate with the most sex workers.

The biggest ragers of history boast more booze, debauchery, and in some cases, destruction, than even some of the wildest modern parties.

  • Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The Ancient Egyptians Held A Festival Of Drunkenness

    Ancient Egyptians knew how to make beer – and they celebrated it annually in the Festival of Drunkenness. The event commemorated a moment in Egyptian mythology where mankind was saved from destruction because a murderous goddess, Hathor, got drunk and passed out. To celebrate, Egyptians lit torches, danced, and "traveled through the marshes," which historians speculate may refer to sex.

    And, of course, it wouldn't be the Festival of Drunkenness without alcohol. Every year, the ancient Egyptians drank a ton of alcohol and passed out. Everyone – whether they were a peasant or part of the elite – participated in this ritual together.

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  • Photo: Robert Cruickshank / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    President Andrew Jackson Invited Thousands Of People To The White House For An Inauguration Rager

    When Old Hickory stormed into the presidency in 1829, he reportedly invited a drunken gang of supporters to the wildest party in White House history. Andrew Jackson supposedly declared his inauguration would be an open house, and an enormous crowd descended on the executive mansion. As many as 20,000 people showed up to drink, destroy furniture, and nearly tear apart the building.

    According to reports, Jackson himself had to jump out the window to escape the rowdy crowd. The White House was saved by the promise of free liquor if the partiers left the house. Afterwards, Jackson asked Congress for $50,000 to redecorate.

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  • Photo: Royal Collection / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    King Henry VIII and King Francis I Had Two-And-A-Half Week "Meeting" With Wine And Beer Fountains

    In 1520, England's Henry VIII and Francis I of France held a meeting that became known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold. The event's rich name came from the costly canopies and furnishings. Both sides showed up ready to impress the other, and no expense was spared. The meeting lasted two-and-a-half weeks.

    The event included the construction of an enormous temporary palace, which 6,000 workers built just before the kings arrived. The monarchs definitely wanted their meeting to be an extravagant gathering, as they included two fountains in front of the palace with wine and beer for guests. After the party, the valley where the kings met was renamed the Valley of Gold.

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  • Photo: Thomas Couture / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Pope Alexander VI's Soirée Had A Contest For Who Could Bed The Most Sex Workers

    Alexander VI, the Borgia pope, held the craziest shindig in Vatican history back in 1501. It became known as the "Banquet of Chestnuts" for a particularly scandalous trick performed by the sex workers hired for the party. The pope's banquet featured a who's who of Roman nobility and Catholic Church officials, as well as Roman sex workers.

    After an elaborate feast of meat and wine, 50 sex workers jumped on the table and performed a striptease. The pope then announced a new competition: the man who slept with the most of them during the party would win a prize, granted by the pope himself. There are no records of who won. 

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