5 Fall Festivities Around the Globe

Happy Sweater Weather! In honor of a new season (and currently being abroad), I thought it’d be fun to highlight some of the unique fall holidays celebrated around the world!

  1. 1. Costa Rica: Costa Rican Independence Day (September 15)

    September 15 marks the day that Central America was freed from Spanish rule in 1821. Costa Ricans celebrate by raising their national flag, marching and watching patriotic parades, and singing their national anthem. Most festivities start September 14, when they reenact the liberation of Costa Rica, carrying the “freedom torch”. People across the country make homemade lanterns that represent the “freedom torch” and children will often wear traditional costumes and perform. More parades take place on September 15, where children will march and dance in traditional costumes as the rest of the community eats traditional Costa Rican food and enjoys the parade. You can also look up many more independence days throughout Central America during this time. 

  2. 2. France: Fête des Châtaignes (every Sunday in October)

    Every fall, the French population celebrates the chestnut harvest with the Chestnut Festivals. The Var village of Collobrière in France is known as the chestnut capital of the world, so the harvest calls for national celebration each year. At the chestnut festivals, which typically take place every Sunday in October, one can enjoy chestnuts prepared literally any way imaginable. Chestnuts are very sacred to the farmers, as they will perish if nothing is done with them within just a few weeks!

  3. 3. Ecuador: Dia de los Difuntos (November 2)

    While many of us have heard of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Ecuadorians celebrate their own religious holiday, Día de los Difuntos (Day of the Deceased, this wording is seen as more respectful). During this fall religious celebration, families typically share a meal with each other either at their deceased family member’s graves or at home. The holiday is all about connecting with their ancestors. A traditional food eaten on this day is called GuaGuas de Pan, otherwise known as 'bread babies,' is a type of bread that people either decorate themselves with icing or purchase before the holiday at a bakery.

  4. 4. United Kingdom: Guy Fawkes Night (November 5)

    Throughout the history of the UK, many kings and queens showed negative sentiment toward Catholicism. Guy Fawkes is seen as a revolutionary figure in UK history among the Catholic community for being part of the Gunpowder Plot. This group had planned to essentially light gunpowder during the opening session of Parliament on November 5, 1605. An anonymous letter was written prior to this date, so their plan had been foiled. He and his co-conspirators were then sentenced for treason. Since then, it has been a tradition in Britain for families to get together and light bonfires and set off fireworks.

  5. 5. Cambodia: Bon Om Tuk (November 10-12)

    Bon Om Tuk, otherwise known as the Cambodian Water Festival, takes place over three days in November each year. This is celebrated in every province in Cambodia and the festivities differ among each community. Families will typically watch boat racing together or travel to different provinces to experience different traditions. The second day of the celebration occurs during the full moon, and most people spend time praying and putting different foods outside of their homes; it is believed that the moon will give them good luck and grant the communities an abundant harvest for the next year.

This is just a tiny glimpse of the many amazing fall festivities that take place around the globe! Stay warm, keep on being productive, and don't forget to get into the fall spirit and have a little fun!