Fall is a time of celebration for many cultures around the world. It’s a time to gather your harvest, and celebrate all that was achieved in the first part of the year.
In the United States, we have Thanksgiving as our primary fall celebration, but around the world, each different culture has an equivalent fall tradition that’s equally important, and brings families together to celebrate the season. If you’re a world traveler on the go this fall, check out some of these amazing and unique festivals.
1. Dia de Muertos – Mexico
Dia de Muertos stems from an ancient Aztec traditional holiday celebrating the goddess Mictecacihuatl, the Lady of the Underworld. It has become a day for Mexicans both in Mexico and living elsewhere in the world to celebrate their ancestors, and the members of their family who have passed away.
To celebrate this holiday, people build shrines in their home, and fill them with treats for the dead. They then visit the cemetery to visit the souls of the deceased. The tone of the holiday is happy and upbeat. People take turns telling anecdotes and funny stories about their deceased family members, and children are presented with treats in the shape of skulls and skeletons.
2. MassKara Festival – Philippines
Although it’s still considered a relatively new festival (having first started in the 1980s), the MassKara Festival has become a huge part of life in Bacolod City, Philippines.
It all began when a national tragedy coincided with a global drop in sugar price, which hurt Bacolod City disproportionally hard because their main export is sugar. In order to bring the city back to life, the local government decided to have a festival, which they called the MassKara Festival. Held on the last Sunday in October, the festival features dance competitions, and plenty of chances to get dressed up and masquerade through the city streets.
3. Guy Fawkes Night – England
Each November 5, English citizens celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. This holiday commemorates an aborted attempt by Catholic revolutionary Guy Fawkes to blow up the House of Lords and kill the Protestant King James I.
It was first celebrated in 1605, when grateful subjects built bonfires to cheer the King’s survival only hours earlier. The celebrations were made official after that, and now, every November 5, bonfires and fireworks explode all over England. Many people burn Guy Fawkes in effigy, sing songs, and celebrate the injection of a little mayhem into everyday life.