Across cultures and around the world, Autumn is a time for celebration, throughout history Autumn has been the season of harvest, Thanksgiving and autumn festivals. Majority of the Autumn festivals share a common theme of light. From lanterns, lamps, fireworks to light up hot air balloons.
Here are some of the top Autumn festivals around the worth that we think are worth visiting.
Where: New Mexico, United States
Every year in October Albuquerque in New Mexico US hosts the world largest balloon festival – Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. What started off as a celebration for local radio station’s 50th birthday in 1972 now attracts enthusiasts from all around the world and is also one of the most photographed events worldwide.
Hundreds of colourful hot air balloons are sent into the sky every day for this nine-day festival during Autumn. Watching all the colourful balloons float in the sky over the desert landscape through the crisp air of Autumn will make you feel like you are in a dream. It is certainly an Autumn festival worth adding to your bucket list.
This autumn festival gets even better in the evening when all the balloons light up creating a wonderland of lights. However, during the evening the balloons stay on the ground with live fireworks in the sky and live music.
Marked with lights, fireworks and colours, Diwali is a five-day festival celebrated throughout India every Autumn. Diwali which translates to ‘Festival of Lights’ is one of the worlds most ancient festival. It celebrates the victory of light over darkness and occurs annually between October and November the exact dates depends on the Hindu lunar calendar.
This is a truly spectacular festival to witness, with people decorating their houses with lamps, lanterns and rangoli – colourful patterns created on the floor usually at the entrance of the house using coloured powder and flowers. All the houses light up at night with fireworks on every street, the whole city comes aglow.
If you are visiting India to experience the Diwali festival one of the best places to experience this celebration of light is Jaipur. During this autumn festival, the city of Jaipur illuminates with mud made oil lamps known as diyas. Diwali is a festival you need to at least experience once in your lifetime.
Loy Krathong and Yi Peng
Loy Krathong is celebrated all over Thailand and in some parts of Laos and Myanmar. Known as the Thai ‘Festival of Lights’ this traditional autumn festival takes place on the full moon of the 12th month in the Thai lunar calendar.
During Loy Krathong houses are decorated with candles and candlelit baskets (known as Krathongs) are released down the rivers. In cities like Bangkok, the river illuminates as thousands of candlelit baskets are sent down the river.
In the northern part of the country, Loi Krathong takes place at the same time as Yi Peng festival which involves releasing thousand paper lanterns into the sky at night all at once. Watching the sky and river light up at the same time is truly enchanting. If you are mezmerised by the photos below trust us its even better in real life.
Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night also known as Bonfire Night in the UK commemorates the arrest and failed attempt of Guy Fawkes, who was planning to blow up the House of Lords in London in 1605.
Guy Fawkes is celebrated throughout the UK during the Autumn month, with fireworks and burning effigies of Guy Fawkes on bonfires on the 5th of November every year. The fireworks represent the explosives that were never used by the plotters. Stunning fireworks display are put on all over the UK.
The world’s largest beer festival Oktoberfest is held every year in Munich, Germany during the Autumn season. Located just outside the city centre of Munich this 18-day festival sees millions of people attend from all over the world.
It all began in October 1810 to celebrate the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Everyone had such a good time that they decided to make this an annual celebration. Years following the first world war, Oktoberfest was just celebrated as the ‘Autumn festival’ it was only after 1950 the current tradition of opening ceremony where the Mayor taps the barrel to commemorate the celebration started. It is now a staple in the German culture which is celebrated with traditional music, food, fairground rides, traditional Bavarian costumes, dozens of tents and of course, lots and lots of beer drinking!
Looking for the best destinations to see the Arrival of Autumn? Have a look at our Best places in the world to see the arrival of Autumn.