Festivals for Fall
As the days grow shorter and cooler for those in the Northern hemisphere, you may be bemoaning the quieter days of Fall. However, these days do not need to be tame, cold, or quiet. A new season brings a new schedule of festivals and events. Some of the weirdest, wildest, and most wonderful events in the world take place this season. Here is a guide to making the coming months some of the best of the year.
Sarakiki Hadang Festival
Where: Calbayog City, Philippines
When: September 1st - 8th
The Sarakiki Hadang Festival takes its name from the local word "Sarakiki", the frenzied movements of a rooster, and "Handang" means ritual dance. Dancers are decorated with feathers and dance in the parade like cockerels.
Bienal de Flamenco
Bienal de Flamenco is one of the most famous flamenco events in the world. Thrilling guitar, dancing, toque and singing show off the best of Andalucía. Performances take place in top venues and plazas across the city. Dancing ranges from traditional flamenco to progressive sub-genres.
The Onam Festival is a colorful harvest celebration in India. The floors are covered in flower carpets and elaborate feasts are attended by decorated people and elephants. Snake boat races and parades are a highlight of the event.
World Gurning Championship
A "gurn" is a distorted facial expression and hallowed English rural tradition. Competitors don a horse collar and attempt to make the most grotesque face possible. has celebrated making these humorous grimaces since 1267. No laughing matter, four-time world champion Peter Jackman actually had his teeth removed in 2000 to make his facial maneuvers easier. Held within the Egremont Crab Fair, which dates back to 1267.
Les Festes de la Merce
This festival is a vibrant Catalonia street parade. Held in the honor of the city's patron saint, the festival is a multiple day event of music, streets performances, contests and fireworks. Highlights include the human towers in Placa de Jaume, the Giants Parade in Plaza de la Merce, the Correfoc (fire run), and a giant karaoke contest in Ciutadella Park.
The 179th Oktoberfest seeks to top it's sensational reputation every year. About 200 years million people from around the world are expected to take over Munich during the world's most famous beer festival. Traditional food, boisterous live music, traditional costumes, and lots and lots of beer will abound.
If you miss this world-class drinking festival, here are some other festivals where you can get your drink on: "Where You Should Go After Oktoberfest".
The Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival
Galway in west Ireland is well-known for it's delicacies from the sea. Eating, drinking, and singing highlight the best of the city. The festival includes the Oyster Pearl Contest, the Street Festival, the National Oyster Opening Championship and a closing banquet.
Where: Paris, France
When: October 6
"White Night" is an annual arts festival in the City of Lights. Museums, galleries, city halls, cinemas, swimming pools and other entertainment and cultural institutes are all open for free for a long night of culture. A parade, concerts and live performances also enliven the event.
Alba White Truffle Festival
This city is the truffle capital and each year the town celebrates its offerings. Truffles are featured everywhere with concerts, food markets, races, food fairs, and feasts. Wine tasting complements the decadent event in a one-of-a-kind experience.
Festival of Lights
Where: Berlin, Germany
When: October 10th - 21st
This festivals lights up some of the city's attractions with illuminations and projections. More than 50 famous landmarks, like the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Cathedral and TV Tower are lit with different, rotating designs. There are special lightseeing tours as the city's center comes alive.
Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE)
ADE is the largest electronic club festival in the world. Enthusiastic experts discuss the industry of electronic music while revelers just dance. The world's top DJs and up-and-comers make up the line-up of 800 artists.
Día de Muertos
The Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Mexico, and around the world in many cultures. Families gather on the holiday to pray for and remember those who have died. People clean their houses and prepare the favorite dishes of their deceased loved ones to place upon their altar or ofrenda. The celebration is connected to the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.
Räbechilbi Turnip Festival
The largest turnip festival in Europe, the Räbechilbi festival puts forth the fine art of turnip carving. Approximately 26 tons of turnips and 50,000 candles are used to illuminate the houses.
Also known as Devali or Deepavali, this festival is most commonly known as the "festival of lights" with the most significant spiritual meaning of "the awareness of the inner light". It marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year according to the Lunar Calendar and is celebrated between mid-October and mid-December. This is the most important festival of the year for Hindus, with Sikhs and Jains also celebrating the holiday. The celebration of Diwali as the "victory of good over evil" with families celebrate by praying, cleaning their houses, eating traditional meals and parading the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi's statue and images through the streets.
Where: Bali, Indonesia
When: Pagerwesi occurs once every seven Roman calendar months
Pagerwesi is a Balinese Hindu occasion day devoted to ancestors. This is the main celebration of a new Balinese lunar calendar year. The name literally means "iron fence" and it symbolizes the fortification against evil. Penjors (tall, extravagantly decorated bamboo poles) are raised outside homes with offerings to the dead of flowers and fruit.
Turkey Testicle Festival
This festival actually started as a joke, but is now a beloved festival. Around the American holiday of Thanksgiving each year, people go to Parkside Pub to sample the delicacy of batter-fried turkey testicles. Paired with beers and live music, this festival is both fun and fulfilling as the price of admission is donated to local charities.
Monkey Buffet Festival
Where: Lopburi, Thailand
When: November 25th
A significant symbol of Lopburi city are the monkeys. The primates are said to be descendants of Hanuman who, according to the epic Ramayana, made Lopburi his kingdom. The monkeys are honored with a feast of over 3,000 kilograms of fruit and vegetables. The event is held annually on the last Sunday of November with many tourists, and monkeys, in attendance.
Is there an event we missed? Add it in the comment section! Find more festivals and celebrations around the world on our Pinterest board: Expat Holidays & Celebrations.