Festivals are great for many things, but most of all, they offer a quick glimpse into the culture and a fantastic party. Whether it be baby jumping, cheese rolling or camel trading, the gathering of a massive amount of people and the history behind it is fascinating. Recently, we discovered Fest300.com – a great resource dedicated to promoting festivals (film, music, religious, etc) worldwide with stunning photos, a founder Chip Conley’s travel blog and database of festivals searchable by date. Based on the website’s encyclopedic information on fests worldwide, here are our picks for the most interesting fall festivals from around the world:
September 14-16 2013
Thimphu Tsechu is the biggest festivals in the capital of Bhutan. Celebrated annually in the autumn season for a period of 3- 4 days, this festival is a ceremony of colorful dances performed by trained monks and laymen in intricate costumes and masks. A Tsechu is a Buddhist festival in honor of Guru Rimpoche, the saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan.
Concurs de Castells
October 4 – 5, 2013
Spain definitely wins the award for most original festivals. The Concur de Castells is right up there, literally. Out of sea a people, a human-tower, up to 9 stories tall emerges, usually with a child on top. Check out Spanish photographer’s David Oliete amazing photos of last year’s fest HERE.
Hot Air Balloon Festival
October 5 – 13, 2013
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
There’s something magical about seeing a hot air balloon rising slowly on the horizon at dawn. Now multiply that by hundreds. Nearly 750 colorful hot-air balloons dot the clear blue New Mexican sky during the annual festival.
October 23, 2013
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Galungan is the most important feast for Balinese Hindus. It’s centered around honoring the universe’s creator, ancestral spirits and celebrating good over evil.
Abu Simbel Festival
October 22, 2013
A combination of human engineering and natural phenomenon, the festival is centered around one of Egypt’s most stunning ancient architecture. Biannually, the festival celebrates’ Ramses II precision and architectural egotism, as he carefully angled his temple at Abu Simbel so that the inner sanctum would light up twice a year – once on the anniversary of his rise to the throne, and once on his birthday. It starts at 3 AM and after the natural spectacle, the crowds join in celebrations of music, dancing and feasting.
Pushkar Camel Fair
November 6 – 17, 2013
What do more than 300,000 people and 50,000 animals do in small town in Rajasthan yearly? Have a party, of course. Beyond the five-day camel and livestock buying and selling, there is much to do and see. With camel races and camel beauty pageants, it’s akin to an Indian style State Fair or rodeo.
For more fascinating fall festivals from around the world, head to Fest300.com