November is already here and for most of Europe that means long nights and cold days. However, that’s no reason to feel down. Instead, let’s celebrate the winter months with ten of the best festivals from around the world this November.
Dia de Muertos, Mexico
The Day of the Dead combines ancient Mayan traditions with Catholicism in a religious festival where Mexicans honour deceased relatives. While traditionally a Mexican festival, the growth of the Latino population in the US has seen the festival establish new roots.
Fete Gede, Haiti
Fete Gede is where Day of the Dead meets Voodoo. Spirits, possess children, adults rub peppered alcohol into their generals and tourists look on bemused. This is one event you simply don’t want to miss.
Bonfire Night, England
Bonfires, fireworks and a dark history. Bonfire night, or Guy Fawkes night, celebrates the burning alive of Guy Fawkes, who attempted to blow up the houses of Parliament along with James I. Although the weather is invariably freezing, a mixture of explosives and alcohol ensures that everybody has a good time.
Pirate Festival, Cayman Islands
Rum, plunder and eyepatches are the order of the day at the Pirate Festival in the Cayman Islands. Though aimed primarily at kids, the mock invasion of George Town by two replica 17th century Galleons and an armada of pleasure boats, ensures that plenty of adults act like children for a day.
Pushka Camel Mela, India
50,000 camels and 200,000 spectators will come together in Rajasthan this November to buy, watch, race and dance camels. The event is one of the highlights of the annual highlights of Rajasthan, so book well ahead if you want to join in the fun.
Guru Nanak Jayanti, India
Guru Nanak Jayanti is the most important religious festival of the year for prakash divas – thats sikhs to most people. The main celebrations are focused on the Golden Temple in the city of Amritsar, though celebrations happen throughout the city.
Rabechillbi Turnip Festival, Switzerland
Every year the people of Zurich come together to celebrate the humble turnip. In fact, they even have a parade through the streets of the city, where the exhibit turnips that have been carved into strange shapes (it’s all a bit like carving Pumpkin’s on halloween is about trick or treat, while the Rabechillbi Turnip Festival is all about turnips). Who said Swiss people don’t have a sense of humour?
Perang Topat, Indonesia
Perang Topat, which is held on the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, is a chance for Indonesians to throw their favourite food – rice – at each other. The festival ends when people get hungry and decide to start eating the rice instead of throwing it at each other.
A festival held to celebrate the kindness of native Americans towards white settlers – who returned the favour when Disney made Pocahontas and the government allowed native Americans to build casinos – Thanksgiving is a time for Americans to come together and just have fun. Expect plenty of Turkey and even more alcohol if you happen to be in the US for the festivities.
Surin Elephant Round Up, Thailand
Every November, thousands flock to Surin to watch the Thai equivalent of Real Madrid playing Barcelona. Though festivities include such diverse activities as elephant tug of war and elephant sprinting, it is elephant football that is the festivals real highlight.