7 Unmissable Global Festivals in November
From the Day of the Dead to Christmas markets and Thanksgiving, November is a month that celebrates the emergence of winter. Here is our selection of the best festivals in November 2023.
Global Cultural Festivals in November
Day of the Dead, 1 November
Despite what you may think, the Day of the Dead has absolutely nothing to do with any zombie apocalypse, instead it is a time for families to remember their passed relatives. The roots of the ceremony lie in Aztec worship of the goddess Mictecacihuatl. Technically this falls on 2 November, but the Catholic Church absorbed into All Saints’ Day. Although this day is celebrated across Central America, perhaps the biggest celebration is in Mexico City marked by a procession to the main Zocolo square.
Cambodia Water Festival, 26 to 28 November
The Cambodia Water Festival, or Bon Om Touk in Khmer, is a celebration of the reversal in the flow of the Tonle Sap and marks the end of the rainy season. In 2023 it falls on 26 to 28 November. Across three days the Cambodian capital will explode into life with boat races along the river and firework displays in the skies above Phnom Penh. There are also other celebrations across the country, including in Siem Reap.
Loy Krathong, 27 to 28 November
Few festivals can compare with Thailand’s Loy Krathong and Yi Peng which attracts many visitors especially to the northern city of Chiang Mai. Small candle lights and flowers drift on tiny floats called krathong along rivers. Simultaneously nightly skies are illuminated with candle-lit paper lanterns for one of the most spectacular festivals in the Southeast Asian nation.
Christmas Markets in November
Vienna Christmas Market, Starts 11 November
November sees the start of the Christmas Market season. Festivals are held in many cities across Europe but one stands out, the Vienna Christmas Market is the original winter festival. Not that it is a single market, but instead it is a series of some 20 fares across the Austrian capital.
Winchester Christmas Market, Starts 17 November
Alternatively, if you are based in the UK you might wish to visit Winchester Christmas Market. Since 2006 this has been recognised as one of the leading Christmas Festivals in the UK. Around 500,000 people are expected to visit Winchester for a Christmas experience based in the German tradition.
Music Festivals in November
EFG London Jazz Festival, UK, 10 to 19 November
November also sees a highlight of the UK capital’s music calendar, the EFG London Jazz Festival is held over 10 days. Some of the greatest jazz musicians in the world descend upon London to play in various venues, as well as film screenings, events and workshops open to all.
Thanksgiving in November
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 23 November
November also sees Thanksgiving celebrated across the US on the fourth Thursday in the month. Where better to celebrate the occasion – apart from with family – that watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which starts with balloons being lofted into the air. The parade is also screened on TV if you are unable to attend in person.
Other Festivals in November 2023
For more details on all the festivals and events in November, click here.