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Best Festivals to Travel For this Fall and Winter

by Angelique Platas

Nov 14, 2017

© Manit Larpluechai | Dreamstime


Eastside Culture Crawl, Vancouver, Canada: Nov. 16–19

Introduce the kids to art early while adding a few edgy pieces to your growing collection at the Eastside Culture Crawl in Vancouver, Canada. From Nov. 16–19, this four-day event brings more than 30,000 art collectors and visitors together to browse hundreds of artists’ designs.


Celebrate local and international works from more than 500 artisan craftsmen and artists including glass blowers, print makers, weavers, sculptors, potters and various vendors from all over the world.


Thailand Monkey Party

Photo: Manit Larpluechai | Dreamstime


Lopburi Monkey Banquet, Lopburi, Thailand: Nov. 26–27

During the last weekend in November, animal-loving families head to Lopburi, Thailand, for some culture and monkey business during the Lopbuir Monkey Festival. This one-of-a-kind event brings guests of all ages from all over the world to the Phra Prang Sam Yot Temple, where the monkeys live amid the overgrown ruins of Khmer. This event is unlike any other in the world and has occurred for nearly 30 years.


Showing respect and gratitude to the monkeys, believed to be descendants of the heroic monkey army of Hanuman, festivalgoers set up a lavish buffet banquet for the monkeys. Participants gather at the temple to play music and dance with the monkeys and say a few words of respect before inviting the monkeys to dig into the feast — the monkeys oblige.


L’Étape Australia, New South Wales, Australia: Dec. 2

The highly anticipated L’Étape Australia by Tour de France begins early December, where guests observe top amateur athletes competing for gold in the professionally run cycling race. Cyclists race through picturesque mountainsides, national parks and the Rocky Plains while guests look on from the sideline and enjoy the incredibly gorgeous peaks and valleys of New South Wales. Book transportation and accommodations through the race website for the ultimate L’Étape Australia experience.

Krampuslauf Austria

Photo: Szirtesi | Dreamstime

Christmas in Klagenfurt, Austria: Dec. 5–6

Creep the kids out this Christmas with Krampusnacht in Klagenfurt, Austria. Krampus, the dark counterpart of Saint Nicholas, comes Dec. 5, and terrorizes the town — in a fun way. Men dress up as the Krampus Christmas devil while women wear masks representing Frau Perchta, a Nordic figure and war goddess.


The next day brings more lighthearted traditions during the Feast of Saint Nicholas. On Dec. 6, St. Nicholas goes around giving candy and gifts to the good boys and girls while parents enjoy the Austrian Christmas Market, street fare and entertainment.


Hogmanay in Edinburgh, Scotland: Dec. 30–Jan. 1, 2018

Get ahead of the crowd and plan an epic vacation to Scotland this holiday season. The Hogmanay and New Year celebration in Edinburgh, Scotland, is world famous for good reason.


The event kicks off with thousands taking to the streets of Edinburgh with torches while locals play pipes and drums. Enjoy the fireworks finale before preparing for the next day’s festivities, The Hogmanay Street Party. Hogmanay brings visitors of all ages from all over to enjoy live music and dancing, outdoor bars, DJs and endless entertainment. Step into a fairytale and watch fireworks over Edinburgh Castle at midnight while singing “Auld Lang Syne” — the largest rendition in the world. Parents and adult children can join in the Dookers Parade the next morning and march though High Street. Join adventurous locals by dressing in costume and plunge in the freezing Forth.

 fireworks over Edinburgh, Scotland Castle

Photo: Lee Walker | Dreamstime


Yamayaki in Nara, Kansai, Japan: Jan. 2018

Plan an unforgettable trip to Japan next year for the Yamayaki Festival. Translating to mountain roast, Yamayaki celebrates ancient tradition, rebirth and compromise. Every fourth Saturday of January, Kasugano-cho, Nara City, locals congregate by Mount Wakakusayama. The entire hill is set up in flames for a New Year celebration like no other.


The event originated from a dispute over Temple boundaries. The disagreement escalated and as an act of mediation in 1760, Mt. Wakakusayama was set on fire. Now, every year a torch is lit and carried to the shrine by Buddhist monks. The hill is set ablaze with the sacred fire while 200 fireworks explode overhead. The sacred event lasts for 30 minutes until the fire brigade puts out the flames. Bundle up and enjoy the incredible views from Nara City. Bundle up!


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