November is always a fantastic time of year to travel, partially because there are some spectacular events taking place all over the world. If you're thinking about going away during the month, here are just some of the awesome events to check out.
Chiang Mai Lantern Festival
Chiang Mai, November 5 – 7
Thailand hosts a terrific array of events throughout the year, but the Chiang Mai Lantern Festival situated in the historic northern city of Chiang Mai is one that is particularly worth your attention.
Held during November's full moon (this month's festivities run from November 5th to 7th), this Buddhist festival sees a number of colourful floats wind through the streets out to the banks of the Mae Ping river. While you make your way through the town, make sure you spend a little time taking in the local houses and temples, which are specially decorated with coconut leaves and flowers for the occasion.
After the floats arrive at the water, hundreds of locals release banana-leaf containers decorated with candles and flowers out into the river in tribute to a local goddess. At night thousands of lanterns are released into the air to symbolise moving away from darkness and embracing a brighter future. The manner in which they illuminate the skyline with the full moon in the backdrop makes for a truly captivating sight.
Once you've finished taking in the spectacle, explore some of Chang Mai's other attractions. Among these is the ancient Wat Phan Tao temple which features an ordination hall made completely out of teakwood, while the Chiang Mai Zoo is home to hundreds of African and Asian mammals, as well as the largest walk-in aviary in the country.
Day Of The Dead
Cuernavaca, November 1
Mexico's annual Day Of The Dead festival is known all over the world and there's no place to take in this colourful and vibrant event than the Central American nation itself.
Taking place on November 1st, the Day Of The Dead is dedicated to remembering loved ones who have passed away and is linked to the ancient belief that the souls of the departed temporarily return to visit their loved ones. Although there are Day Of The Dead events happening all over Mexico, aim to be in Cuernavaca on November 1st. That way, you'll be just a short drive away from the ancient town of Ocotepec which holds numerous ceremonies to mark the occasion.
Head to the local graveyard – which is widely regarded as a prime example of Mexican funerary architecture – where you'll see numerous tombs that have been freshly painted and redecorated by local families. Candles are also lit in tribute to the departed, with offerings that represent the four elements placed on altars in remembrance of those who have passed.
Make sure that you stop by the numerous temporary street stalls that are set up for the event. Here you'll get to eat delicious freshly-baked pan de muerto (which translates in English as 'bread of the dead') as well as look at the items that are traditionally used to decorate altars, such as incense and pumpkins.
London, November 5th
Each November 5th the UK celebrates Bonfire Night (also known as Guy Fawkes Night) in remembrance of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, an event which saw Catholic conspirator Guy Fawkes attempt to blow up London's Houses of Parliament.
Although he failed in his efforts, the anniversary of his arrest on November 5th is marked across the country with spectacular firework displays and bonfires (the latter sometimes features burning effigies of Fawkes) which are attended by thousands of people.
Bonfire Night falls on a Wednesday this year so many bonfire events will be held on the following weekend. Among these is the Battersea Park Fireworks display which takes place on November 8th. Organised by Wandsworth Council, this fantastic event sees colourful fireworks set off in time to music with family-friendly activities and plenty of food and drink stalls serving refreshments.
Alternatively, you might want to head to the Lambeth Fireworks Display on November 5th. Taking place at Brockwell Park in south-east London, this fun event will feature an amazing 20-minute fireworks display produced by Titanium (a company that has previously put on pyrotechnic performances at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics), a 7 m bonfire and a human Catherine wheel.
New York, November 27th
Taking place on the fourth Thursday of the month (with this year seeing it fall on November 27th), Thanksgiving traces its roots back to 1621 when the Pilgrims – immigrants who had travelled from Europe in the search for a new life – held a feast with Native Americans to celebrate a bountiful harvest.
Today, it gives people the chance to be with their loved ones and be thankful for all the good things in their lives. This celebration is often marked with a hearty turkey dinner served with mashed potatoes, stuffing and vegetables, as well as pumpkin pie for dessert. Whether you're going to be staying at a hotel, visiting friends or staying in self-catering accommodation, this is one meal that you don't want to miss out on!
While Thanksgiving is celebrated throughout America, New York is a particularly good destination to visit at this time of year. Stay in the Big Apple and you'll have the chance to see the iconic Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in action. Run by the long-established department store, this amazing event sees dozens of colourful floats, gigantic balloons, Broadway performers and marching bands make their way through Manhattan's streets in a vibrant procession that finishes outside the retailer's Herald Square store. The streets are often packed with spectators so if you want a good viewing spot it pays to get there early.
As you can see, there are plenty of terrific events taking place across the world in November so it shouldn't be too hard to find at least one that captivates you!