If you find yourself traveling for business and leisure in November, you’re in luck – the weather is shifting and the buzz of Christmas is beginning to spread, making it a vibrant time to see the world. Plus, there are many incredible festivals and events to visit in November, from classic favorites such as the New York Thanksgiving Parade to more obscure fiestas like Pirates’ Week in the Caribbean. Here are ten of our favorite festivals to visit in November while traveling for bleisure!
Yi Peng and Loy Krathong Lantern Festival, Chiang Mai, Thailand
You may have seen the dreamy photos of thousands of people gathered to release lanterns into the night sky – but it is even more spectacular to be at the Chiang Mai's Lantern Festival in person. Not only is it visually magical, but the act of releasing a lantern is said to symbolize letting go of regrets, fears or sadness – perfect for getting ready for the new year!
Date: 23rd November 2018
Pirates Week Festival, Cayman Islands
Although the Cayman Islands might be best known for offshore bank accounts, they also have a spectacularly bizarre Pirates Festival each year in November. Hit the deck and enjoy the drinking, dancing, and fireworks – as well as the spectacle of a mock pirate invasion complete with three full-size replica pirate ships!
Date: 8th to 12th November 2018
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York, United States of America
November is all about Thanksgiving in the United States, and one of the most famous traditions on Thanksgiving is to watch the Macy’s Parade on television. If you’re in New York on the fourth Thursday in November, however, you can do one better and watch the floats and showmanship live!
Date: 22nd November 2018
Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavik, Iceland
It doesn’t get much cooler than a music festival that began in an airline hangar and features a lineup of mostly undiscovered artists as well as other arts and cultural sideshows. Go to this epic festival in November and in a few years, you may just be talking about that band you saw in Iceland ’before they were cool’.
Date: 7th to 10th November 2018
Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights, near Toronto, Canada
Niagara Falls is always beautiful, but in November it comes to life with a spectacular light show that runs through to the new year. Beginning in mid-November, the event sees the powerful falls lit up with a colorful light display that features more than three million bulbs.
Date: 3rd November 2018 to 31st January 2019
Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes’ Night), United Kingdom
One of the UK’s most famous traditions occurs in November when Britons gather for fiestas commemorating the failed Gunpowder Plot, where anarchist Guy Fawkes had planned to blow up the British parliament. Many celebrations occur in backyards across the country, but there are also large-scale events that feature fireworks and the burning of Guy Fawkes effigies. Some of the largest are in London and Somerset.
Date: 5th November 2018
Margaret River Gourmet Escape, Margaret River (Western Australia), Australia
Australia has many excellent wine regions, but one of the very best is the Margaret River region in Western Australia. November is one of the best times to enjoy it when the Gourmet Escape offers a chance to sample some of the region’s best food and wine flavors.
Date: 15th to 18th November 2018
African International Film Festival, Lagos, Nigeria
Many creative Africans are working to reclaim the narrative about their home countries, and one of the best ways to allow others to see things from their eyes is through film. The annual African film festival held in Lagos uses film to portray life in Nigeria and other African countries.
Date: 11th to 17th November 2018
Pushkar Camel Fair, Pushkar, India
For a true cultural experience, the Pushkar Camel Fair in India is a fascinating festival to visit. Although thousands gather to trade in camels (and participate in events such as the ‘Camel Beauty Pageant’), the event has grown with the event now a mix of snake charmers, musicians, fortune tellers, and delicious food stalls. It is definitely an experience for all the senses.
Date: 15th to 23rd November 2018
There we have it – ten of the best festivals to visit in November. If you find yourself near any of these places this month, be sure to combine your business travel with the chance to enjoy these varied events. Which would you most like to visit?