10 Must-See Events Happening Around the World This November

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Photo credit: Citanova Dusseldorf
Photo credit: Citanova Dusseldorf

In many parts of North America, November is one of the mellowest months of the year. The sun sets earlier, snowfall becomes a regular occurrence and the long days of summer start to feel like distant memories. But November is one of the most exciting months in many parts of the world, with some of the year’s biggest festivities on schedule. From India to Peru and even right here in Canada, there are plenty of must-see events around the world to keep you feeling festive this November.

#1. La Diablada — Peru

Photo credit: CassandraW1
Photo credit: CassandraW1

La Diabalada, or the “dance of the devils,” is celebrated in Peru and Bolivia, but one of the largest festivities is held in Puno, Peru. It is said that the festival, known as the Diabalada Punena, began as a way for the Spaniards to teach the Peruvian natives about Christianity through dance. Although, others say that the events began as a remembrance of the departing of the devilish conquistadors in the late 1800s. Whatever the origins may be, if you attend the festival, you’ll see costumed dancers dressed as demons, animals and Saint Michael. The week-long festival comes to a close every year on November 5.

Dates: October 30 to November 5, 2014

#2. Melbourne Cup — Australia

Photo credit: Julia Firelyte
Photo credit: Julia Firelyte

The “race that stops a nation,” also known as the ever-popular Melbourne Cup, takes place the first Tuesday of November every year. Head to the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, and you’ll join more than 100,000 fellow viewers who are there to watch the live horse-racing action. Australia’s biggest horse race is more than just a four-minute-long event, it’s an entire day of festivities and races leading up to the main event.

Dates: November 4, 2014

#3. Dusseldorf Karneval — Germany

Photo credit: Kurschner
Photo credit: Kurschner

It may not seem like it’s already time for carnival again, but in the Rhineland region of Germany, Karneval events begin on the 11th of November at 11:11 a.m. The Dusseldorf Karneval is the city’s biggest annual event, and the festivities continue all the way to Lent. Although, “The Fifth Season,” as the festival is known to Dusseldorf locals, tends to take a short break for the observance of Christmas and start up again in early January.

Dates: November 11, 2014 to February 18, 2015

#4. Monkey Buffet Festival — Thailand

Photo credit: Andreas Haja
Photo credit: Andreas Haja

Also known as the Lopburi Banquet, the Monkey Buffet Festival isn’t exactly how it sounds (a buffet of monkeys). The festival is held to honor the town of Lopburi’s macaque monkeys, which are treated more like citizens of the city than animals. The macaque monkeys are welcome to go anywhere and do anything as the locals see them as good luck charms. Every year, during the Monkey Buffet Festival, the citizens of Lopburi head to the nearby ruins of a Khmer temple to play music, dance and cook an abundance of fine foods for the monkeys.

Dates: November 25, 2014

#5. Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights — Canada

Photo credit: Jpc5422684
Photo credit: Jpc5422684

Niagara Falls, Ontario, is known for its spectacular holiday lights display at the Niagara Parks Winter Wonderland every year. More than 3 million lights shine on 125 animatronic holiday decorations for visitors to view by car or bus. The festival starts in early November and continues all the way through January with fireworks shows, an outdoor skating rink and of course, the 5-kilometer-long holiday light route.

Dates: November 15, 2014 to January 12, 2015

#6. Tori-No-Ichi — Japan

Tori-no-Ichi_2011,_Asakusa,_Tokyo,_Japan

The Day of the Rooster, or Tori-No-Ichi as it’s called in Japan, takes place every 12 days throughout November on the “Days of the Rooster” according to the Chinese zodiac calendar. On these days, citizens head to the Otori shrines to ask for an abundant harvest season and many sales. Visit the largest event in Asakusa, Tokyo, and you’ll see more than 200 vendor stalls providing thousands of visitors with handicrafts, foods and other market finds. On years when the Day of the Rooster occurs three times, superstitious believers predict there will be a multitude of fires, but the festivities still remain jubilant.

Dates: November 10 and 22, 2014

#7. Macau Grand Prix — China

Photo credit: Klaus Nahr
Photo credit: Klaus Nahr

You don’t have to be a racing fan to love the Macau Grand Prix. The most anticipated race weekend in Macau begins on Thursday and Friday with qualifying events and practice laps for motorcycles and race cars. But if you can’t make it there for the entire four days, be sure to arrive early on Saturday for numerous daytime races and the famous Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix. Although, the main event, the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix, is held on sunday, featuring Formula 3 champions and expert drivers from around the world. The winner of the Macau Formula 3 Gand Prix takes home the prestigious FIA Intercontinental Cup.

Dates: November 13-16, 2014

#8. Pirate Festival — Cayman Islands

Gasparilla_pirate_float

The annual Pirate Festival is the only festival to be held in all three of the Cayman Islands, and it’s a must-see if you’ll be visiting in mid-November. Ten days in the middle of the month are dedicated to music, dances, games, costumes and exciting reenactments. George Town Harbour on Grand Cayman, one of the best places to visit the festival, kicks off their events with a mock invasion featuring two 17th-century pirate ships in the harbour.

Dates: November 6-16, 2014

#9. Shanghai Art Fair — China

Photo credit: pincponic
Photo credit: pincponic

Art enthusiasts mark your calendars. The Shanghai Art Fair, Asia’s premiere art event, takes place every November at the ShanghaiMart in Shanghai. The fair is a relatively new Chinese festivity (it began in 1997), but it has become one of the biggest art events in the world with more than 1,000 galleries from roughly 50 countries on display. Bring artwork to sell, money to buy new or simply kick back and admire the fascinating works on display.

Dates: November 13-16, 2014

#10. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — United States

Photo credit:
Photo credit: yaminie10

Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television has become a tradition in many American homes, but nothing is quite like seeing the gigantic floats, celebrity appearances and holiday cheer in person. Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November every year, and the extravagant Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City serves as the unofficial beginning of the holiday season throughout America.

Dates: November 27, 2014

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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