All around the world, autumn is a time of celebration and festivals. While we celebrate with pumpkin carving, costumes and candy in the United States, there are numerous other famous events taking place in other countries throughout the harvest season. Here are five of the most well-known fall festivals around the globe:
Mid-Autumn Festival/Moon Festival
When: October 4, 2017
What: The Moon Festival is a harvest festival celebrated in China and other East Asian countries. The event takes place on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar with a full moon at night, generally sometime in late September or early October. The festival honors the importance of family, thanksgiving and prayer. Festival goers celebrate by reuniting with family and friends outdoors and eating mooncakes as they watch the full moon rise.
Dia de Los Muertos
When: October 31 through November 2, 2017
What: Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is one of the most famous autumn celebrations in the world. During this multi-day festival, Mexicans honor and remember their deceased loved ones. Residents celebrate with food, parties, dancing and offerings at the gravesites of their departed family members. The festival is a lively, colorful event that acknowledges the role death plays in our lives and pays tribute to the lives of deceased. On the Day of the Dead, it is believed by many that the dead are able to awaken and share in the celebrations with family.
Diwali Festival of Lights
When: October 19, 2017
What: Diwali Festival of LIghts is a Hindu tradition that celebrates the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. The festival takes place over five days sometime in the months of October or November, with the main event taking place on the third day. People celebrate with the lighting lamps, candles and lanterns in the streets, fireworks, prayer and feasting among family members.
Oktoberfest in Germany
Where: Munich, Germany
When: September 22 through October 7, 2017
What: While known globally for beer, Oktoberfest is actually the largest folk festival in the world. The festival spans over about two weeks, lasting between 16 and 18 days. Residents and tourists celebrate the famous festival with food, parades, dancing, fair rides, and, of course, beer. Originally started in 1810 to honor the wedding of the Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, the festival today brings in millions of tourists each year.
Yi Peng Lantern Festival
Where: Chiang Mai, Thailand
When: November 4, 2017
What: The Yi Peng Lantern Festival coincides with the annual Loi Krathong in Thailand. Yi Peng is known for the beautiful floating lanterns made from thin rice paper that are released on the day of the full moon in the 2nd month of the Lanna calendar. Residents and visitors write prayers and encouraging messages on the lanterns before releasing them into the sky. The festival is also celebrated with parades, fireworks and colorful decorations in homes and temples.
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