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Fall Traditions Around the World

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Olivia Ortlieb, Grade 12

Although fall signals the end of summer and a return to colder weather, it also entails countless unique holidays and traditions that add vibrancy to the lives of people across the globe. Read on to learn more about some of these fascinating holidays!

Guy Fawkes Night - United Kingdom

(“Battle Bonfire Night Procession”)

This peculiar British holiday is also known as Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night. It commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot, a treasonous plan that almost came to fruition in 1605. The Gunpowder Plot involved an attempt to kill the King, and blow up the Houses of Parliament using gunpowder placed under the floors. The plot was discovered before it could be executed, and all of the conspirators, including a man named Guy Fawkes, were killed. The foiling of this plan is celebrated every year on the fifth of November with parades, bonfires, and fireworks. Straw effigies made in the likeness of Fawkes are also created and burned in condemnation of his actions (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica).

The Mid-Autumn Festival - China

(“The Mid-Autumn Festival”)

This ancient festival originated over 3 000 years ago during China’s Shang Dynasty. It is held on the night of a full moon in September or early October. The festival was originally intended to honour the mythological Chinese goddess of the moon, who was worshipped with altars and incense. Today, the festival is typically celebrated through the gathering of friends and family, the lighting of lanterns, and the consumption of mooncakes, which come in many different sizes and flavours depending on the region. The Mid-Autumn festival is also celebrated in other parts of Asia such as Japan and Vietnam. (“China's Mid-Autumn Festival”)

Loy Krathong - Thailand

(“Everything You Need to Know About Loy Krathong”)

This particularly picturesque festival is held on the night of a full moon each November. The people of Thailand aim to honour the rivers, which are key aspects of their agriculture-based country, by releasing floating lights known as krathongs into the water. It is believed that releasing these krathongs washes away misfortune and that if the light stays lit until it has passed out of view, this means a year of good luck for those who made it. The krathongs are typically made out of pieces of banana trunks decorated with colourful flowers, incense, and candles. Fireworks, music, and dancing also form part of the celebrations (Blythe).

The New Yam Festival - Eastern Nigeria


The New Yam festival occurs at the end of the rainy season, which coincides with the end of the yam harvest. Yams are a crucial crop for many African farmers, and this festival is an opportunity for communities to gather and give thanks for the year’s harvest. For this reason, it’s an important time for bonding between different groups as they come together to celebrate. The festival begins with the roasting of yams by high-ranking individual

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