Seasonal Festivals of November

seasonal festivals

Day of Dead Festival

In November, Day of the Dead is rejoiced with great excitement in Mexico. This festival is celebrated to cherish the memories of one’s departed loved ones. It is an excellent food festival too in which delicious meals are served. At the same time, in India, Pushkar Camel Festival is commemorated. It is an exciting event with the inclusion of music and songs. Also, it manifests the culture of India through amazing stall displays.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

The third major seasonal festival is organized in United States. It is named Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and it is a really interesting event. The festival is a huge entertainment for both children and adults due to its giant floats. The floats have amazing big characters that roam about the New York City. The bands also follow where the floats go making this festival a success.

Monkey Buffet Festival

Another major attraction of November is a unique Monkey Buffet Festival. This event is celebrated in Thailand to attract thousands of animal-lovers. The interesting thing about this festival consists of distributing vegetables and fruits to monkeys. This seasonal festival is also a good occasion to attract tourist from all over the world.

Besides, there are few more seasonal festivals that are organized in the month of November. An important festival among November’s seasonal festivals is Disney’s Halloween festival, Disney’s Dream, Disney’s Enchanted Christmas and few other magical Disney events. Be prepared to get the most of the coming November and enjoy with your loved ones.

Religious Festivals of November

hindu religious festivals

November is auspicious to have multiple religious occasions for people of different religions. Here some significant religious festivals have been described.

Christian Festivals

Christians celebrate All Saints Day in the month of November to pay homage to all saints. It is recognized that though all of the works of all saints were not known, yet they had a special place. Likewise, All Souls Day is commemorated to make special prayers for the dead. Another Christian festival, St Andrew’s Day is celebrated in this month to pay special tribute to Scottish culture.

Muslim Festivals

The Muslims around the world celebrate the occasion of Holy Pilgrimage in this month. This occasion is commemorated to remember the migration of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to Medina from Mecca. Another religious festival, Ashura is celebrated by Muslims in this month. This day has a big history with Moses getting saved from Egyptions’ grip and Noah’s leaving the Ark. This day, the Muslim sect Shi’ite, mourn over the martyrdom of Hussein with the celebration of a big festival.

Hindu and Buddhist Festivals

The Hindus celebrate Diwali, a colorful festival in this month among their family members and closed ones. The people cherish the story of Sita and Rama during this great Hindu festival. At the same time, the Buddhists commemorate Sangha Day to honor their friendships.

Food Festivals of November

november festivals of food

Day of Dead Food Festival

The unique food festival, Day of the Dead, is commemorated around the world in November. The people of United States and Mexico rejoice this occasion in the memory of their departed loved ones. The event consists of distributing candies, tasty pastries and other food items among the attendants. Right in US, another food festival, New York Taste is celebrated as a major charity event. The chefs from New York are invited over for presenting best taste cocktails and dishes.

Coffee and Cheese Food Festivals

For coffee-lovers, November presents Kona Coffee Festival for the citizens of Hawaii. Here, lots of exciting coffee contests are arranged along with interesting workshops for the visitors. For cheese-lovers too, this month brings an exciting event. Wisconsin Cheese Originals Festival is a food festival full of delicious meals containing world-class cheese in them. The event is commemorated in Madison and is largely adored by most of the people of the world.

Food Festivals for Apple and Wine-Lovers

The list of interesting food festivals of November does not end here. There are few more festivals with excellent cuisines and drinks on the roll too. There is an Apple Festival that is rejoiced in Pennsylvania. Here apple tastings are done by the participants and yummy apple dishes are presented. Then there are exciting food festivals like Portsmouth Restaurant Week, Zoofari and Brunswick Stew Festival. For wine-lovers, Conrnucopia is a delight with an abundance of international wines.

Film Festivals of November

november film festival

Interfilm and Cork Film Festival

This November, the excitements of films are back with Interfilm Short Film Festival in Berlin. The event consists of around 500 movies with fifty programs. Also, the competitions of seven sorts will be conducted for the most popular movies. The event is a complete entertaining program with the presence of guests from all over the world. Next in line is Cork Film Festival going to be organized in Ireland. It is one of the oldest movie festivals and has strived to maintain its fame up till today since 1956. The festival enjoys an equal interest among movie-makers, fans and general public. It is undoubtedly, a major film festival that is covered by media all over the world at a large scale.

Cairo Film Festival

There is a never ending list of November film festivals for the year 2012. We have Cairo Film Festival with its upcoming film competition. In the film competition, a number of 20 movies are selected from around twenty countries. The winner of the competition becomes a recipient of a sophisticated Golden Pyramid award while the runner-up is endowed with Silver Pyramid prize. There are other prizes for the best actors, directors, script, best artistic contribution and so on.

AFI and Bilbao International Movie Festivals

The other two major notable film festivals are AFI festival, Los Angeles and Bilbao international short film and documentary festival. The former festival features movies of diverse sorts with international documentaries and films. The latter is a major event mostly for fiction, animation and documentary films. So get geared up for having fun at one of these famous film festivals.

Surin Festival Thailand

Surin Festival ThailandThailand a land rich in culture, colors and exotic festivals has some amazing ideas about celebrations. The Thais show there reverence to everything which is useful to them. In Central Thailand, they thank the monkeys in the Lopburi region by throwing a lavish feast for them. In the northeast province of Surin, the elephants are honored annually in the Surin Elephant Roundup.

This festival commenced in 1960 and has been celebrated every year on the third weekend of November. The people of Surin are quite famous for their knack of capturing and taming elephants. Throughout the province these gentle beasts can be seen working side by side with the humans.

Surin Festival ThailandIn this unique festival watched by thousands of locals and foreign tourists the elephants display their skills and strength. There are soccer matches, elephant races, a tug of war between the elephants and 70 best muscled men of the Royal Thai Army and other activities showing the intelligence, agility and grace of this wonderful animal. The highlight of the festival is the mock battle scene of yesteryears re-enacted for public enjoyment.

The Surin Elephant Round up is much more than a fascinating public display of the elephant’s capabilities; it is a unique and a beautiful bond shared by a man and a beast.

Ottery St. Mary’s Carnival

Ottery St. Mary's CarnivalOttery St. Mary is a unique carnival in which barrels coated with coal tar are burned and carried up and down the streets. What started this tradition and why; nobody knows for sure. All that is known is that the centuries old tradition either started as a way of warning the approach of Spanish Ships, or to kill the rats when the black death plague had enveloped the country, or maybe to fumigate the cottages. Another popular reason could be that the burning of tar barrels warded off the evil spirits.

Whatever the reason be, it is a very interesting and somewhat risky festival. Originally the torched barrels were rolled down but to add excitement to the event, they are now carried on the backs. Not every one is allowed to carry a barrel; in fact some families are Barrel Rollers for generations. The barrels are lit outside a public house. It takes place on the 5th of November which incidentally is also the Guy Fawkes Day.

Ottery St. Mary's CarnivalA total of 17 burning barrels are carried throughout the day. The sizes of the barrels vary from small for boys to medium for women and youth and the big boys get to carry the big barrels which can be as heavy as 30 kg. The first barrel is lit at 4 o clock outside a public house and then carried through the streets. The process continues amidst cheering and applauding of the people until the last barrel is lit as the clock strikes midnight.

The event ends with a spectacular bonfire. The bonfire is an important part of the festival. Three weeks prior to the festival material is collected from the community. Just a week preceding the festival the bonfire is completed with a height of 35 feet and width of 50 feet. On the festival the Guy is placed at the top of the bonfire. In the evening the base of the bonfire is set ablaze and a manifestation of flame is viewed and enjoyed by all.

Guy Fawkes Day; The Bonfire Night

GUY FAWKES DAY THE BONFIRE NIGHT-01The Guy Fawkes Day also called the Bonfire Night is mostly celebrated in the U.K and other countries which had been under the British rule. The Guy Fawkes has an interesting story; it so happened that the Catholics faced many persecutions during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1. With her death in 1603, James 1 was named her successor. As James 1 had a Catholic mother, the Catholics thought that there hardships would lessen if not ended but this was not to be. James 1 proved to be as cruel as his predecessor. Disillusioned by this situation, a group of Catholic young men decided to put an end to this tyranny by blowing up the House of Parliament when it was in session with the King and other Members of Parliament in it. To carry out the plan, the conspirators stored 36 barrels of gunpowder in a cellar under the House of Lords. The plot was unveiled before it could be put into action and Guy Fawkes a soldier was unfortunately caught with the barrels of gunpowder. He was tortured and finally executed.

This event took place on the night of the 4th and 5th November and on the morning of 5th November, Church bells rang announcing the King’s safety. The Londoners lit bonfires to express their relief. This tradition changed with ages and now it is a common practice to burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes in the bonfire as well.

GUY FAWKES DAY THE BONFIRE NIGHT-02Since then 5th November is called the Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night.

Throughout U.K there is a spectacular display of fireworks. The children make a “Guy” with pieces of old clothes and old newspapers or any ignitable material. They carry it around the streets asking for a penny for poor Guy. This money was earlier used to buy fireworks. But with a ban on fireworks, it goes to the candy store. At night the Guy is put on top of bonfire; the sky breaks into colors when the bonfire is lit.

Festa Della Madonna Della

FESTA DELLA MADONNA DELLA-01The Festa Della Madonna Della Salute is a major religious festival in Venice, Italy. La Salute is one of the biggest churches of Venice. It was constructed to honor a promise made to Virgin Mary by the Venetian Senate. In the early 1600s a plague broke out in Europe which also hit Venice badly. Around one third of the Venetian population was wiped out by the plague. Troubled by the situation, the Senate vowed that if the city was rid of the deadly plague, a church would be built and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The plague receded and keeping the promise a church was built at the junction of the Grand Canal and Bacino di San Marco. Architects were invited to submit their designs and the design of a young architect Baldassare Longhena was chosen. The design of the church is unique and is regarded as a master piece in the world of architecture.

FESTA DELLA MADONNA DELLA-02Since 1687, a festival is held on 21st November in remembrance of the event.

The celebrations involve a grand parade from the San Marco to the church. Every year a bridge especially constructed fort the event is used to cross the canal. Even today, thousands of people go to the church to light candles. Small stalls are set up which sell hand made toys, delicious pastries and candles.

El Dia De Los Muertos

EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS-01The Mexicans remember and pay respect to their deceased relatives and friends on the El Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead. The celebrations take place on the 1st and 2nd November corresponding with the Catholic festivals on All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day. The Mexicans have always believed that every year the souls of the departed visit their living relatives and enjoy the food and drinks offered to them. The day is not a sad occasion but a happy lively one where spirits join the people in celebrations. The origins of this festival can be traced back to the ancient Aztec times.

EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS-02Skull is the main symbol of this day. Skull shaped candies and sweets are especially made. Another specialty is the “pan de muerto” it is a coffee cake with meringues in the shape of bones. Decorations and ornaments in the form of skeletons and skulls are seen everywhere.

EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS-04The rituals and traditions vary throughout Mexico. Most Mexicans honor their deceased children on 1st November (El Dia de los Innocentes: Day of the Innocent). The graves of the children are cleaned and decorated with toys and balloons. The next day, homage is paid to the adult deceased. The main rituals involve cleaning of the graves and adorning them with “ofrendas”.

EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS-03Ofrendas are offerings which include beautiful arrangements of flowers predominantly marigold, favorite food and drinks of the dead and personal items and favorite ornaments of the dead. Candles are also lit and placed on the graves. Bells begin to ring at 6:00 PM at every 30 seconds to call the dead. The ringing continues till sunrise. At sunrise the vigil is over and the relatives head home.EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS-06

Day of the Dead in Ecuador

DAY OF THE DEAD IN ECUADOR-01Ecuador is a country of colors and celebrations, fun and fiesta. In this predominant Roman Catholic country, a monthly festival or a long weekend is a regular feature. In Ecuador, the All Souls Day is celebrated with religious fervor on 2nd November each year. If the 2nd of November falls on Sunday then the All Souls Day is celebrated on 3rd November.

The people of Ecuador celebrate the All Souls Day in a unique fashion. The celebrations are strongly influenced by the Incas traditions. People visit memorial parks and graveyards to commemorate their dead. They often take their favorite dishes which they consume at the graves of the dead. This is regarded as sharing food with the dead. Visiting families also exchange food at the cemeteries.

DAY OF THE DEAD IN ECUADOR-02In Ecuador, people believe that all the souls pass through a stage called “purgatory” where they are cleansed before they can enter heaven. To lessen the hardships of purgatory, the people perform certain rituals like ringing bells. The sound of bells is supposed to free the souls from purgatory. Another way is to light candles and put them in pitchers of blessed water. In this way the flames that burn the souls are put out. Water is also sprinkled on the floor of the graveyards to refresh the souls.

The traditional food and beverage of the occasion are “Guaguas de Pan” and “Colada Morada”. Guaguas is bread baked in the shape of a child and colada morada is a purple colored cocktail of assorted berries and other fruits.

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