Fall Traditions from Around the World

10. Vegetarian Festival – Thailand

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s an annual celebration where religious devotees prove their ability to enter a trance state by mutilating themselves to show that their concentration is so intense that they don’t feel pain. It’s all meticulously organized, with medics standing by, but usually it’s the spectators who need the most treatment.

If you visit, you’ll be treated to the sight of people piercing their tongues, walking across coals, or climbing a ladder made of sword blades while possessed, then distributing blessings to the crowds who have gathered around to watch.

phuketphotos951 / Shutterstock

11. Spirit of Our Nations Powwow – Canada

The Spirit of Our Nations Powwow takes place in the prairie provinces of Canada every year, and is organized by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, in conjunction with their annual Assembly of First Nations General Assembly. It’s a fun way to promote the history and culture of the different nations that have gathered to talk and make policy together.

Each year, it attracts around 10,000 spectators, who gather to watch the different dance competitions, musical acts, and cultural ceremonies.

12. Sukkot – Israel

Sukkot is a Jewish holiday celebrated in Israel and by Jews all around the world. The holiday celebrates a successful harvest, and serves as a reminder of the Exodus from Egypt and the dependence that Jews should have on the will of God.

While for observant Jews this is a solemn, reflective holiday, for secular Jews, it’s a time to gather with family and dine al fresco in outdoor huts called sukkahs. Families eat and even sleep in their sukkah, and every day a blessing is recited over the lulav (a palm branch) and etrog (a citrus fruit) as symbols of the harvest.

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