Exotic Festivals October 2018 Listing

Dias de los Muertos in Mexico

Exotic festivals October: Dias de los Muertos in Mexico. 31 October – 2 November. Original photo by Norma Hawthorne.

World Festival dates and information

These listings are mostly about odd events in Exotic Places. Generally we do not list European or American festivals here – unless they are exceptionally alien!

Calendar Dates are sometimes unconfirmed and occasionally unreliable, so check before booking. TBC/A = To Be Confirmed/Announced

October 2018

19 – 21 September

BHUTAN, Thimphu Tshechu Festival- a colourful masked dance ritual held in the capital city of Bhutan, with hundreds of locals gathering to see monks dressed in traditional robes performing prayers and dances.

8 – 17 October

THAILAND, Vegetarian Festival in Phuket and Trang. Innocuous name. . . actually most of the event involves men piercing themselves with metal rods, strolling over red-hot coals and other apparently masochistic activities in the name of purification.

9 -10 October
& 14 – 15 April
(Same days every year)

JAPAN, Takayama Matsuri Autumn Festival in pleasant Takayama City, near Nagoya – A dozen ancient, elaborate floats get dragged around the old town; with traditional music and costumes. Takayama Festival Pictures

18 – 19 October
(Same days every year)

PERU, Procession of the Lord of Miracles in Lima. Celebrating Jesus Christ, aka Señor de los Milagros, the whole of Lima turns out to sing, dance, pray, wear purple clothes and watch parades.

19 October
10 – 19 October)

INDIA, Dasara/Dashera/Dussehra, also called Navaratri, nationwide but Navaratri in Gujarat is the best.
An important Hindu festival to celebrate the victory of Load Rama over Ravana as well as the Goddess Durga’s triumph against demon Mahishasura.
A series of ceremonies and processions ending with Dussehra, the Festival of Joy which is notable for public battles between giant paper monsters filled with fireworks. Not for those of a nervous disposition. . . also celebrated in Nepal as Dashain.

22 October
(Same date every year)

EGYPT, Abu Simbel Festival – 2 days a year (also 22 February) when the light falls perfectly to illuminate the statues of Ramses, Ra and Amun in this incredible temple complex. Just you and 1, 000 other tourists!

23 October

THAILAND, Buffalo Races in Chonburi, near Pattaya. All sorts of different water buffalo contests, including fancy dress.

31 October – 2 November
(Same dates every

MEXICO, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) mainly in the states of Michoacan (esp. Patzcuaro) and Oaxaca .
Lots of different ceremonies to link the dead with the living, plus sand sculptures, fancy dress, decorated altars, sugar skulls and plenty of cardboard cadavers. Visit cemeteries late night Nov 1-2 to see the candles, flowers, music and family parties. In Oaxaca the more spacious new cemetery is livelier than the old one.