The Best November Festivals Around the World

3rd November 2023 | Category: Concerts

November is a month that’s not really warm and not really cold. It’s directly between the summer and warm winter traditions, both of which can get pretty crazy. So, many just assume that there’s nothing fun to do in November, but that is not actually true.

We are here to introduce you to some of the best November festivals around the globe – from techno festivals in Iceland to lantern festivities in Thailand, we have a bit of something for everybody.

Dia de los Muertos

Where: Mexico and also Worldwide

When: Oct 31 – Nov 2

Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican festival honoring the dead. As the name says, Day of the Dead, is a 3-day celebration of all loved ones that have sadly passed away.

Although celebrations are held across the globe, the biggest is in Mexico City, Mexico. This is just the focal point but wherever you go, you won’t be wrong. Another place that’s quite famous is Oaxaca. The entire point of the Day of the Dead is to welcome back the souls of the dead who return to the real world for a day on November 1st. It is believed that they pass over to this side in the night between October 31st and November 1st, and they have 24 hours here before they must return to the land of the dad.

That is why people decorate and put up altars with photos and food to encourage souls to visit them as they want to celebrate them for that day.

Iceland Airwaves

Where: Reykjavík, Iceland

When: Nov 2 – Nov 4

At the same time that the Day of the Dead ends, another festival begins on the other side of the world. Iceland, a country famous for being a bit isolated from others as it’s an island, is hosting a cool music festival at the beginning of the month.

The festival is a music event, so the focus is on live shows and sets by industry’s leading techno and psytrance performers. But there’s more to Iceland Airwaves than meets the eye. Airwaves brings together a massive crowd of festival-goers who enjoy events such as Tomorrowland. It’s among the most popular techno festivals, right there with Awakenings and Sónar. Each year, thousands of visitors flock to Reykjavik to celebrate music and share good vibes with others in the abandoned airplane hangar where everything began in 1999. Today, the musical event is held to celebrate the Icelandic music scene, as well as promote international artists.

Lewes Bonfire

Where: England

When: Nov 5

The movie V for Vendetta is a movie referencing the legendary Guy Fawkes Night, or the Gunpowder Treason Day. Marked on the night on November 5, the event represents a plot to blow up the entire House of Lords using gunpowder and thus assassinate the king James I (along with his entire parliament) in 1605. The assassination attempt was unsuccessful, but it left a big mark on the society of that age. Centuries later, the date was turned into the famous Bonfire Night, or the Lewes Bonfire.

In fact, the Bonfire Night is celebrated across the UK, but Lewes Bonfire refers to a more extreme celebration of the event. Lewes is a city near Sussex. Each Bonfire Night, the town of Lewes celebrates by bringing out flaming torches, typically held by costumed participants cosplaying as Vikings, pirates, etc., who also drag burning barrels of tar behind them. The main thing is the chant ‘Kill the Pope’, a quite unusual and for many, weird chant, but that’s Lewes Bonfire for you.


Where: India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.

When: Nov 10 – Nov 15

Diwali is a Hindu festival of lights. Celebrated across India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, etc., Diwali is among the holiest of Hindu holidays taking place in November. The dates are not set in stone, so please check the dates before booking accommodation and flights to India or any other country of your choosing. If you want to participate in Diwali, you should know that this is the most important holiday for Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and even some Buddhists. In total, over a billion people celebrate it each year, making it not just big in India, but also worldwide.

The significance of the festival lies in the battle (and win) of good over bad, light over darkness. As said, this is a lights festival, which means there are numerous lantern-releasing traditions, along with fireworks, candles, etc. Oh, and the best thing about Diwali is that celebrations typically last up to 5 days, so there’s more than enough time to enjoy the festivities with loved ones.

Chang Mai Lantern Festival

Where: Thailand

When: Nov 27 – Nov 28

Another fantastic event you should not miss are the fantastic Chang Mai Lantern festivals taking place every November in Thailand. There are two festivals that are jointly referred to as the Thailand Lantern Festivals. Yi Peng and Loy Krathong, the Thai Lantern Festivals, take place on the same day. Yi Peng refers to the practice of releasing swarms of lanterns into the sky with friends and loved ones, while Loy Krathong refers to the practice of letting lotus-shaped baskets down float down the river.

Both are magnificent displays of lights made by lanterns being released by participants as a symbol of letting the bad things go and ushering in the light. Yi Peng, the Thai Sky Lantern Festival, is celebrated in norther006E Thailand. The biggest celebrations take place in Chiang Mai, the ancient capital of the Lanna Kingdom, making this a Lanna festival. Meanwhile, Lou Krathong is a purifying event honoring the Goddess of Water. Participants release baskets with candles and flowers down the river and other waterways.

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