"Cockroach races have been up and about here in Berlin for a couple of years now, apparently introduced by the russian painter Nikolai Makarov. He claims (and I have no way of disprove him) that this is an old Russian tradition. I attended one of these races in January 2001 – it was a celebration of the Russian New Year, and a very odd mixture of betting on the cockroaches, drinking, eating and socialising.
"The race I attended was also quite fun because of the silly stories they made up about the roaches racing against each other. Apparently, one of them (Olga) was the daughter of another one, had then killed and eaten her father, but only after mating with him and having a child (Olga II), which was now racing not only against her mother, but also (I think) against another one of her father's children… or something. It was pretty weird, and quite funny.
"There are photos online (not mine, though) of a similar event in November 2002 here."