We all know fall is a great time to get out and experience the change of seasons. While many of us here in America enjoy apple and pumpkin picking as well as watching the leaves turn colors, there are festivals around the world, like Loy Kratong, that shine this time of year. Check out these best fall festivals from around the world.
- Guy Fawkes Night, United Kingdom
In high school history class you may have heard “Remember, remember the fifth of November.” That has significance because it’s Guy Fawkes Night.
It’s also known as Bonfire Night. The festival in Britain looks back on the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 when King James I escaped a planned assassination attempt by Guy Fawkes. Many of the violent memories of that encounter have been replaced by parades throughout Britain. People in costumes also march through the streets of London with torches.
- MassKara Festival, Philippines
Born out of a major boat accident in 1980 that killed hundreds of people, the MassKara Festival in the Philippines is aimed at turning all of that sadness around. After that tragedy, local artists decided to throw a “festival of smiles”. On the third weekend of October, dancers in costumes, many with masks with happy faces on them, parade through the streets.
3. Mid-Autumn Festival, China and Vietnam
The arrival of the full moon between September and October signals the Mid-Autumn Festival which is also known as the Moon Festival in China and Vietnam. The date of this festival obviously changes each year depending on the full moon. Cities are adorned with lantern displays with everything from dragons to flowers. It really is a sight to see.
- Loy Krathong Festival, Thailand and Laos
Thailand, as well as parts of Laos, take part in the Loy Krathong Festival, which means “to float a basket”.
This festival involves sending decorated baskets down the river. Homes are also decorated with candles during this time. Part of this festival includes the Yi Peng Festival. This is when paper lanterns are released into the sky, lighting up the night sky. The Loy Krathong Festival falls on the night of the twelfth lunar month.
5. Diwali Festival of Lights, India
The Diwali Festival of Lights is another festival that is based around the moon. The festival lasts for five days, but the most celebration is done on the darkest, new moon night.
The Diwali Festival of Lights celebrates the victory of light over darkness. Families get together and light firecrackers to bring in the evening. After that they go visiting friends and share sweet treats.
- Oktoberfest, Germany
This annual festival, held in Munich, Germany, is the world’s largest beer festival. It started in 1810 and lasts 16 days. Although these days the festival centers around drinking beer, it began as the celebration of Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Years ago, it also involved horse racing. These days that element has also disappeared as Oktoberfest is known for drinking beer. While the true Oktoberfest is celebrated in Germany during the month of October, there are many copycat events bearing the name here in the U.S. and in other parts of the world, all in the name of beer. The true Oktoberfest brings millions of visitors to Germany every year.
Fall festivals are plentiful around the globe, each with their own significance and culture. The next time you’re looking for a unique trip, you may want to consider centering it around one of these festivals for one unforgettable vacation.