While the international music festival season might have ended, this in no way means there aren’t awesome festivals to come. The month of October was eventful, but November brings with it some of the best local music festivals, along with cultural festivals from all around the world you’d love to attend. From pirate festivals to monkey feasts, the month is filled with a whole lot of excitement!
1. Bacardi NH7 Weekender
When: October 31-November 1 and November 28-29
Where: Kolkata and Delhi
This may be one of the most beloved music festivals India has to offer, and in November, the Weekender hits Kolkata and Delhi. Having always put together an amazing roster of artists for each city, this year’s lineup does not seem to disappoint either. While Kolkata will see Megadeth and The Wailers headlining their festival, Delhi will be graced by A.R Rahman, Mark Ronson and Flying Lotus. But these names aren’t even the half of it. You can check out the exciting lineups here, and book your tickets here.
2. Sunburn: On The Road To Goa 2015
Where and When: Bengaluru – Nov 12, Mumbai – Nov 13, Hyderabad – Nov 14, Delhi – Nov 15
The most awaited electronic music festival in India, Sunburn also happens to be one of the largest of its kind in the world. The 9th edition of this massive 4-day bash is all set to be held at Vagator Beach from 27th-30th December. But the fun begins much sooner than that, with the city festivals being held in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi. The lineup features some of the giants in the EDM business, with headliners DJ Snake, R3hab, and other artists like Chuckie and Matisse Sadko! As if you needed more reason to look forward to the festival. Take a look at the lineup here.
3. Pushkar Camel Fair
When: November 19-25
Where: Pushkar, Rajasthan
Every year, in the humble heart of Pushkar, Rajasthan, this fabulously colourful camel fair lights up the Rajasthani horizon. This five-day camel and livestock fair is held annually and has some really amazing things happening. Come prepared to see 50,000 camels, horses, cows, goats and sheep, delectable authentic Rajasthani street food and a wide range of activities from ferris wheels to the infamous ‘Cage of Death’. Take part local activities, and contests like “longest moustache competition”, a turban tying contest and even a “Camel Beauty Contest”. This festival is riot of colour and joy.
4. Cannabis Cup
When: November 20–24
Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cannabis Cup is possibly Amsterdam’s most famous/notorious festival that promotes the personal cultivation and use of marijuana. This five-day event will take you on a tour through the world of weed. Founded back in 1987 by an American activist, Steven Hager (who has been a pretty strong advocate for the legalization of the herd), Cannabis Cup is what we’d call a modern day harvest festivity where stoners and hemp enthusiasts unite to experience and learn about their favourite pastime. At the festival, you can sample different varieties of weed, attend seminars on legalisation, and eat amazing food for your munchies!
5. Iceland Airwaves
When: November 4-8
Where: Reykjavik, Iceland
For an intimate music festival, there’s no place cooler than Reykyavik, a city that’s poised on the edge of Nordic culture. While you may have heard of Bjork, Of Monsters and Men and Sigur Ros, who’ve put Iceland on the international music map recently, the country has a lot more to offer. This brilliant festival has everything you’d ever want – intimate shows, quirky clubs and even quirkier destinations, along with an eclectic lineup any alternate rock fan would love. Local acts are a big part of the event too, some of who will make you fall in love with Icelandic music. But the festival isn’t just about music anymore. It transforms downtown Reykjavik into a city-wide event full of art, music, fashion and fun!
6. Yi Peng and Loy Krathong (Lantern Festival)
When: November 22-25
Where: Chiang Mai, Thailand
This beautiful Thai festival of lights is a spiritual, ancient and sacred affair that invites new beginnings via spiritual cleansing, and its culmination into a spectacular show that people come to watch from around the world. Attendees converge to release the khom roi (lit lanterns) into the night sky, forming a stunning display of lights. During this key ritual, krathong, or small floating vessels made from banana stalks decorated with incense, offerings, flowers and candles are released into rivers and other water bodies. The festival includes parades, musical performances, traditional dances, beauty pageants, lantern-making contests, and of course, a whole lot of amazing food!
7. Dia De Los Muertos
When: October 31-November 2
On October 31 every year, private altars called ofrendas are built across Mexico, and people honour the deceased with sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts, along with old possessions of the dead. The intent behind this is to encourage visits by souls of departed friends and family, and to communicate with them on some level. The days are a public holiday in Mexico, and people dress in beautiful costumes and masks, taking to the streets in parades or converging at large altars.
8. Lewes Bonfire Night
When: November 5
Where: Lewes, England
Every year on November 5, Brits light bonfires and fireworks are used to remember their good luck in stumbling upon Guy Fawkes just before he attempted to blow up Parliament in 1605. Guy Fawkes’ Day, or Bonfire Night is celebrated throughout the UK, but no other place sees a more magnificent bonfire celebration on this night than the city of Lewes. There are 7 societies that organise torch-making parties, building effigies and putting up the most prominent bonfires in the city. They also wear similar-themed costumes, generally based at some point in Western history. Lewes Bonfire Night is a massive party with torches fires and processions that people actually prepare for and look forward to all year!
9. Lopburi Monkey Banquet
When: November 28-29
Where: Lopburi, Thailand
In the city of Lopburi, the last Sunday of every November is reserved for a huge banquet. But this is no ordinary feast – it’s a dinner party in honor of the long-tailed macaques that live in the city. These monkeys, despite their tendency to pick pockets and mercurial temperaments, have been integrated into society. The event is in honour of Lord Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, and Thai people firmly believe monkeys bring them good luck and fortune. This is probably why hundreds of spectators gather to watch the monkeys attack the spread, and what eventually culminates into an entertaining monkey food fight.
10. Pirates Week Festival
When: November 12-22
Where: George Town, Cayman Islands
Pirates run amok during this festival that brings Pirates of the Caribbean to life at George Town every year. The Pirates Week Festival is “an onslaught of scallywags and rapscallions”, with people dressing up in costumes, participating in the street parades, dancing, fireworks and every pirate themed activity you could possibly imagine. It draws over 40,000 visitors each year, and its not uncommon to see hundreds of Jack Sparrow lookalikes strutting down the streets. But the best thing about the festival is the simulated pirate invasion, when three sailing ships full of costumed buccaneers make a surprise landing in George Town harbor, grab the governor and rile up the crowd! It’s quite an exciting event.