November Festival Gems

Written by  larapiegeler

Turn Novmeber into a chic celebration of the arts in a stylish city: Madrid's Festival de Otono brings a host of colourful circus acts and innovative music, theatre and dance works to ponder on November streets. The Festival d'Automne, Paris's greatest festival of arts, reaches a peak in November in a delectable mix of new ideas and re-workings of old classics. For each November festival, book in advance and time your trip to coincide with the performances and exhibitions you want to see.

Guy Fawkes night can't be ignored; "Remember remember the fifth of November...", it's an excuse to soak up the festival nostalgia, wave sparklers and eat a jacket potato from a mobile cafe. In Devon, Ottery St Mary's old-fashioned version of the festival is truly spectacular – their riverbank bonfire, festival and fair is huge and the tradition of lighting the streets by carrying flaming, tar-soaked barrels is still very much alive. London gets the added festival atmosphere of theLord Mayor's Show, dating back to the 13th Century, it's a nationalistic parade of floats and military bands before a November evening of fireworks. Somerset's November Bridgwater Carnival is another unique traditional festival, with its illuminated parade and roman candle display through the chill November night.

Ours is not the only nation with something to remember in November. In Mexico, festival feasts and processions are held at the beginning of November to honour the dead on the Dia de los Muertos – a festival of reminiscence and a colourful celebration of the lives of ancestors and lost loved ones, which lights up the grey November streets of Mexico City or Oaxaca – or come later in November and visit Taxco, for the annual silver week festival. You'll see silversmithing competitions, wander a silverwork market or explore a silver mine in and around this colonial town of cobbled streets and terracotta-and-white houses.

November also herds in the Surin Elephant Round-Up Festival, where elephantine skill is celebrated though parades, races, games and even battle re-enactments. Tunisia'sFestival of the Oases is also held in November: see racing camels – all knees, but they're surprisingly quick - traditional music, snake-charmers and knife-throwers and snack on a traditional festival dish.

Festival list for the rest of the year

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