Leaves are falling, trees are changing color, and corners of the world are starting to celebrate the holidays in their own unique way. Here are just a few fall travel destinations worth the trip.
Oktoberfest in Germany
Going on 188 years, Oktoberfest in Germany is a classic for beer enthusiasts alike. Held from September 16th to the first Sunday of October, frauleins and herrens will gather for this long-standing tradition with the first beer tap, beer tents, ferris wheels, parades, and many other fairground rides. Admission is free unless you decide to visit the “Oide Wiesn” historical section for four euros. Here, you can experience the true Bavarian customs with real showmen, the “Dicke Berta” strength challenge, and many folk singers. If you’re looking for the best time to go, there’s an Oktoberfest barometer to give you ideal times to join the fun.
Dia De Los Muertos in Mexico
A sea of skeletons, yellow marigolds, and favorite foods, Day of the Dead is a two-day holiday in Mexico to remember the many loved ones who have passed and send offerings to those being honored. Ofrenda, Spanish for offering, is a tradition that includes oilcloth-covered tables with a collection of photographs, personal items, and traditional Mexican cuisine to represent the particular tastes and belongings of the departed person. Starting at midnight on November 1st, the holiday is filled with celebrations, bustling streets, candy skulls, calavera-painted faces and cemetery visits to decorate gravestones. If you liked Coco, you’ll be sure to love this beautiful and diverse holiday dedicated to loved ones (both living and those beyond!)
Diwali in India
Otherwise known as the Indian “Festival of Lights,” this is one of the most important secular holidays in India dating back to October 15, 537 B.C. Diwali or Deepawali, gets its name from the row of clay lamps placed outside homes to symbolize the inner light or nirvana that protects from spiritual darkness. It aims to honor the day Guru Hargobind Ji, sixth Guru in the Sikh religion, was freed from imprisonment. The holiday is celebrated over five days filled with shopping for gold to bring good fortune, decorating homes with rangoli (a form of patterned art), cities with strings of twinkling lights, sweet treats such as kaju katli and firework festivals. On Day Three, people of various faiths will come together for Lashmi puja, a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi, with lavish feasts and festivities. If you have siblings, Day Five marks Bahi Dooj, a day for brothers and sisters to honor one another. This includes a ceremonial dance called tilak and of course, fireworks.
P.S. Diwali occurs on the darkest day of the lunar month with this year’s festivities starting on Monday, October 24, 2022.
Bonfire Night in the UK
On November 5, Bonfire Night celebrates the capture of Guy Fawkes, a man who attempted to ambush the House of Parliament in 1605. Unique to the UK, many celebrations include hosting huge bonfires and firework displays all over the country. If you’re in London, you can even catch Wembley’s Park Light Up The Night celebration to honor both Bonfire Night and Diwali. This northwest London park becomes an all-in-one immersive light show, music festival, and firework display for all passersby. On the south side, you can also visit Battersea Park to experience more up close and personal fireworks and learn the history of this gem in the heart of London.
Fall Activities in Ireland
Autumn, better known as Fomhar in Ireland, is an ideal time to visit this emerald isle. Here, you can find a variety of fall festivities including the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. On the last weekend of October, this annual music festival brings all kinds of musicians, Irish food, and all the soul you need. For the oyster lovers, you can look out for the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival in late September. This event begins with live music, an oyster competition, Mardi Gras gala dinner, and ends with Felipe Bia Na Mara cookery demo. Come the spooky season, you can catch Derry Halloween for feasting, festivities, and plenty of folklore. Drawing on Derry’s mystical history, there’s everything from street food, hay trails, pumpkin patches, and even a zombie apocalypse. For the Game of Thrones fans, you can also visit all the fabled castles featured in this fantasy series. Most notably the Dunluce Castle, which many fans will recognize as the House of Greyjoy. This castle is open to visitors and has a number of guided tours available.
From the crisp air, gleaming colors, and crunchy leaves, the fall season is celebrated around the globe. With all sorts of traditions and a reason for fireworks, there are several fall travel destinations for you and your family to choose from.
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