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Beyond Oktoberfest: Coolest Fall Festivals from Around the World

Beyond Oktoberfest: Coolest Fall Festivals from Around the World

Whether you’re seeking music, culture, beer, or food, we’ve got you covered with our rundown of autumn’s best events.

Any list of the coolest autumn festivals has to start with Oktoberfest. But even if you can’t make it to Germany for the renowned beer-slugging event, there are dozens of other cool celebrations around the world, ranging from art fairs to cultural events to spiritual celebrations. Here are six of our favorites.

Albuquerque International Balloon Festival, Oct. 5-13

It’s hot air balloons as far as the eye can see for nine days in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when the world’s largest balloon event commences in October. More than 500 balloons take to the skies in the early morning hours. Bring a daypack with your camera, because the photo opportunities are incredible.

Great American Beer Festival, Oct. 10-12

No one will be going thirsty at Denver’s massive beer fest, which features 49,000 attendees and nearly 3,000 different beers from 600 vendors. The event has doubled in size over the past decade and shows no signs of slowing down; tickets for the 2013 edition sold out in minutes, so book early for 2014.

Melbourne Festival, Oct. 11-27

Head to the land Down Under for an eclectic fest featuring live music, theater, visual arts, film, and dance. Events on the 2013 Melbourne Festival schedule include concerts by Yo La Tengo and Cody Chesnutt, a tribute to filmmaker John Landis, and an artistic exhibition of musical instruments made from guns.

Hong Kong Wine & Dine Fest, Oct. 31-Nov. 3

A great fall festival option for foodies is the annual Hong Kong Wine & Dine Fest. What’s not to love about sampling gourmet dishes and fine wines in one of the most exciting cities in the world? In 2012, nearly 200,000 people attended the event.

Oaxaca Dia de los Muertos, Nov. 1-Nov. 2

The Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, in which individuals remember their departed loved ones with elaborate celebrations, has been growing in popularity throughout North America. One of the best places to take part in the festivities is Oaxaca, Mexico, where the fun lasts for several days.

Diwali Festival of Lights, Nov. 1-5

Begun as a harvest festival, Diwali has become known for its lights. Throughout India, Hindus and member of other religions gather with family, light lamps and set off fireworks to ward off evil spirits. Diwali can be observed in any large Indian city, with the biggest celebrations taking place on the middle day of the five-day holiday.

What’s your favorite Fall Festival to celebrate? 

Scott Shetler is a freelance journalist and frequent traveler who enjoys national parks, urban nightlife, and everything in between. He blogs about his adventures at http://quirkytravelguy.com.

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