The changing leaves and the slight drop in temperature indicate that Autumn is just around the corner. To help you get the pumpkin latte effect in full swing, we thought we’d highlight some fun (and slightly bizarre) Fall traditions and celebrations from around the world.
Día de los Difuntos, similar to Mexico’s Day of the Dead, is a holiday meant to honor the life of those who have passed away. Every year on November 2nd, the people of Ecuador gather around the graves of their recently deceased relatives with food and flowers to honor them and aid the dead in their journey to the after-life. Some families gather to eat a meal near the grave, while others just leave food on the site for the deceased. The most commonly seen food and drink during this day are guaguas de pan, sweet breads that are usually shaped as babies, and colada morada, a purple corn drink. El Día de los Difuntos is seen as a time for families to reconnect with their ancestors as well as an opportunity to remember their roots.
Known as “The Festival of Lights,” Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in Autumn as determined by the Hindu Lunisolar calendar. The word Diwali means “Row of Lamps” or “Spreading of Light” which is why the celebration includes millions of lights shining all around. The festival signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. Families light candles, set off fireworks, give gifts and make delicious meals to celebrate.
Every October, the people of Bacolod City in the Philippines celebrate the Masskara Festival. The festival was born of the necessity to find happiness after grieving the loss of 700 lives during the MV Don Juan maritime tragedy in 1980. Instead of letting the tragedy get them down, the “City of Smiles” decided to put on a “happy face,” and today the tradition continues with bright and colorful costumes, masks, and headdresses.
Remember, remember, the 5th of November. This date commemorates the failed attempt of Guy Fawkes and 12 co-conspirators to blow up King James I of England during the opening of Parliament in 1605, which came to be known as “The Gunpowder Plot.” On that night, bonfires were set alight to celebrate the safety of the King. Since then, November 5th has become known as Bonfire night. The event is celebrated ever year with fireworks and burning effigies of Guy Fawkes on bonfires. The foods of choice during this event are hot baked potatoes, toffee apples, and marshmallows which are usually cooked on the bonfires.
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival. Held annually in Munich, this 16-18 day folk festival runs from mid-late September into the first week of October, with millions of people from all over the world attending annually. The event originated in 1810, when the citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Today, the Oktoberfest is celebrated with singing, dancing, and of course, lots of drinking!
However you decide to ring in Autumn, remember that the whole world is celebrating with you. We truly have a lot to celebrate. Happy Fall!