When writing this post the use of the word Autumn can easily be interchanged with fall or October / November. I wanted to write about a few things happening around the world in the next few months that are really exciting. I love festivals and events that teach you about the culture of a place, I have never attended any of the events below but they are now all firmly on my bucket list. An excuse to travel to somewhere new and join in with a cultural tradition? Yes please!
(Image belongs to Oktoberfest website, linked below)
Celebrating it’s 186th Oktoberfest, Munich is known for an incredible celebration that many travel from all over the world, to attend. Oktoberfest began with a wedding that was celebrated for days in 1810. It was the wedding of Bavaria’s Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. It is now a huge event with over 30 different tents filled with music and beer, there are costumes and food, ferris wheels and even rollercoasters. I love the traditional dress as people wear dirndls, loferls and lederhosen and they all have correct ways of being worn, even down to which side you wear the bow on your dirndl to show your relationship status. There is so much history in this festival that makes it sound incredible and each year it seems to get even bigger. To find out more about this festival click on the link here.
Based at BFI Southbank, the London Film Festivals takes place across numerous venues in London. The festival is packed full of events, talks and of course, films that range from Headline Gala films to, first feature competition entries and documentaries. You can book tickets to the films online, as well as attend numerous talks for free, screen talks, DJ nights and different nights as part of the event programme. The LFF festival guest list is also filled with directors and producers that have created the incredible films on show. Not one to miss if you’re in London!
(Photo credit to Ray Watt, Image from the Balloon Fiesta website linked below)
Lasting nine days, the Albuquerque balloon festival is a mesmerizing event that takes place in the desert in New Mexico. There are different events that the balloons are entered into, with morning glow events, fireworks, special shape rodeos and competitions. Starting off with 13 balloons in 1972, there are now over 500 balloons, making it the largest ballooning event on earth. As a guest you are allowed to walk among the balloons and actually chat to the pilots who are at the event. On the Saturday there is also a music fiesta and there are all different clubs that you can purchase tickets for. If you want to find out more about Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta click here.
(Image from the Berlin Festival of Lights website, linked below)
Berlin is a pretty spectacular city as it is, so this one sounds mind-blowing. Basically the festival of lights manages to make Berlin even better by creating light art all over the city, displaying it on the famous landmarks, squares, streets, buildings and monuments. The light artwork can tell a story and is in 100 locations all over Berlin. This year the theme is “Lights of Freedom” and artists from all over, come to help create a spectacular show in Berlin. The festival now attracts over two million festivals and I can see why!
(Image belongs to the website linked below)
Perhaps the most recognised festival on this list, I think there are a few misconceptions over the idea of the Day of the Dead festival and it’s a really fascinating celebration that I have loved learning more about. It’s a two day festival where mourning is replaced with the idea of celebration. The belief is that the holiday reunites the living and dead so families decorate, cook, and celebrate to be joined with their departed family members. There are three significant stages to the celebrations with many recognisable symbols such as the calaveras (skulls) and flor de muerto (Mexican Marigolds). There is symbolism behind everything and honestly I could write a whole blog post about what I’ve learnt but if you do want to find out more, you should really look into it as it looks incredible.
(Image belongs to the website, linked below)
A different festival of lights, this one in Thailand focuses on water as it celebrates the goddess of water. It’s celebrated all over Thailand on the 12th lunar month so this year it on the 13th November. It has a complicated origin with both an apology and a thank you to the water goddess. In recent years the festival has altered slightly to include lanterns but this is a tradition from Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai. For Loy Krathong the celebration involved floating a lotus shaped raft onto the water. The little rafts are filled with flowers and candles as they float down the water. The festival is celebrated on rivers, ponds, lakes and canals and now, even hotels in Bangkok use their own swimming pools so you can join in.
Have you ever been to any of these festivals? Are you planning on attending any of these this year? I think each one would be amazing in different ways! I hope you enjoyed this post, especially because it is a little different to my usual ones but I wanted to try something new and share with you my love of festivals!
I’m back in the UK for a while now so will be posting three times a week on the blog, Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays! Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram for more daily updates too and I’d love to say hey on social media.
I post once a week covering topics such as solo travel, working and living abroad and also creating Gabriella’s Guides to places I have been. I cover topics under the following categories such as Planning and Packing, The Travel Diary, Travel Inspiration, Photo Diaries, Gabriella’s Guides and Working Abroad.