Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

'Pastafarian' wins religious freedom right


An Austrian has been granted the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head for his driver's licence on the grounds of religious freedom.

Niko Alm - a self-styled "pastafarian" who says he belongs to "the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster" - underwent a three-year struggle to be able to wear the kitchen appliance on his head for the official photo. Austrian law dictates that headwear can only be worn in driving licence photos for "confessional" reasons.

His initial request to wear the pasta strainer in 2008 ended up in him being referred to a psychologist, to check he was mentally fit to drive.

However, his efforts to be recognised as a pastafarian finally won through when he was sent a laminated licence featuring wearing the upturned sieve (above) - with transport authorities recognising it to be an accessory needed for his "faith."

Niko announced the news on his blog, saying: "Today I was able to get my new driving licence, and in it you can clearly see that I'm wearing a colander on my head to demonstrate my allegiance to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster ... My headwear has now been recognised by the Republic of Austria."

The Flying Spaghetti Monster was a concept invented by a physics graduate in Oregon State in 2005, in opposition to a motion by the Kansas school board to teach the theory of Intelligent Design in biology instead of evolution. It is based around belief in a supernatural universe composed of pasta and meatballs and now has thousands of followers who adhere to the idea that the world was created by a drunk Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Niko plans to continue his campaign by getting Pastafarianism recognised as an official religion in Austria.



What not to do at a wedding


Gorilla stars in own home video



Samantha Baines: “It’s time to leave our vaginas the hell alone”

The Call the Midwife star has her say on vaginal beauty treatments

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

Ramadan: The best places to break your fast in London

These London restaurants provide late night openings and special iftar menus

26 May 2017

10-year-old survivor’s letter to Ariana Grande is beyond beautiful

“I really hope you’re not too scared”

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

It’s official: this easy email hack is guaranteed to boost read rates

Make your emails stand out in your recipient's inbox with one simple trick

by Jasmine Andersson
26 May 2017

Fathers pay more attention to daughters than sons, new study shows

Dads are also "more emotionally engaged" with girls

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Men are totally devastated by this women-only Wonder Woman screening

Who knew they were such big fans of Diana Prince?

by Moya Crockett
26 May 2017

Dog breaks into studio to help reporter read the news

The internet is obsessed with this live news blooper (and for good reason)

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

“Get over yourself”: gymnast hits back at stranger who judged her arms

Alexandra Raisman responds to “rude and uncomfortable” incident

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Fighting for their rights: the heroic teens battling period taboos

"I wasn’t allowed to comb my hair, look in the mirror, attend school, read and write."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 May 2017

Twitter responds to terror threat level the only way it knows how

#BritishThreatLevels showcases the self-deprecating humour we Brits seem to love

by Amy Swales
25 May 2017