Do you or your family celebrate Halloween? What about Chuseok, Oktoberfest, or Dia de los Muertos? Fall festivals range from harvest celebrations, to spooky affairs, to traditional family gatherings. Whether you’re new to one of these traditions and want to know more, or miss the celebration in your home country, there’s plenty on this list to satisfy your curiosity.

Check out these nine fall traditions from around the globe. Had you heard of them all?

1. Bonfire Night: United Kingdom

On November 5, UK residents celebrate Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day. This day commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when 14 people were plotting to blow up the House of Lords at the State Opening of Parliament.

Their plot was foiled and ever since, UK residents commemorate the victory. They celebrate by lighting bonfires and with fireworks shows, eating foods like meaty sausages topped with fried onion, ketchup, and mustard. Oftentimes, Brits celebrate on the weekend closest to November 5 to maximize the festivities.

2. Chuseok: Korea

Also known as Hangawi, Chuseok is the Korean version of Thanksgiving. It is a three-day festival that is celebrated starting on the full moon of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. The Korean people celebrate this holiday to thank the heavens for a successful harvest.

To show their gratitude, they gather and enjoy the fruits of their harvest, hoping for another fruitful year ahead. After the Lunar New Year, Chuseok is the biggest holiday in Korea. Traditional foods include a popular rice cake known as songpyeon, filled with chestnuts, red beans, or sesame. Other traditions include percussion quartets, talchum dance, and ssireum, traditional Korean wrestling.

3. Dia De Los Muertos: Mexico

Often associated with Halloween, but with a very different meaning, Dia De Los Muertos happens on November 1 and 2 every year. The name translates to “day of the dead.” It coincides with the Catholic All Souls’ Day and incorporates indigenous traditions from Mexico.

During this autumn holiday, family and friends gather to pray for their dearly departed loved ones. Preparations for Dia De Los Muertos include making or buying decorations for the graves of lost loved ones.

4. Diwali: India

South Asians celebrate this well-known holiday for five days in either October or November. Diawli is India’s festival of lights, but it also falls on the Hindu New Year, making it a massive celebration.

To observe Diwali, Indians decorate their homes with lamps, candles, and colorful sand. Lanterns across the subcontinent symbolize the power of light over darkness. This joyful and peaceful event has also become important worldwide for the Indian diaspora.

5. Festival of the Yams: Ghana

In the Volta Region of Ghana, the Festival of Yams—also known as Asogli Te Za—takes place every September. This festival holds deep religious and economic meaning for the Ghanaian people.

A good yam harvest means a prosperous year. The festival’s religious overtones include thanking the ancestors and gods for a fruitful harvest. The festival is celebrated in slightly different ways all over Ghana and among Ghanaian people around the globe.

6. Halloween: U.S., Canada, Scotland, Ireland

Halloween has become global, though it’s most widespread in the United States. Children dress up in costumes and go door-to-door “trick-or-treating.” Families may place carved pumpkins, known as Jack-o’-Lanterns, out front. Children show off their costumes in exchange for some sweet treats.

On Halloween in Scotland, this practice is known as “guising.” Kids also perform jokes and short performances to earn their candy treats. Halloween dates back about 2,000 years to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.

Origins also include Catholic traditions. Celebrants would light fires and dress up in scary attire to ward off ghosts on All Hallows Eve, the evening before All Souls’ Day on November 1. Pope Gregory III designated this date as the Day of the Dead in the 8th century.

7. Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival: China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia

This festival is a big deal in many parts of Asia. The Moon Festival is celebrated in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Singapore, as well as around the world by Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese communities.

Chinese National Day usually coincides with Moon Festival. Known as both the Moon Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival, this holiday celebrates the moon at its fullest and brightest.

In Chinese culture, the full moon symbolizes reunion. This is a time when families reunite and spend time together, enjoy a reunion dinner, and share mooncakes.

8. Oktoberfest: Germany

People travel from far and wide to participate in a genuine German Oktoberfest celebration. Known around the world, this annual festival runs for 16 to 18 days in the southern German city of Munich.

Oktoberfest originally marked the marriage of the Crown Prince of Bavaria (later known as Louis I) to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Every year, about 6 million people attend Oktoberfest.

The celebrations include days of singing, dancing, and drinking together, often in traditional German attire. Traditional sausages, pretzels, and craft beers are always on the menu at Oktoberfest—whether in Germany or at similar festivals in communities with German heritage.

9. Thanksgiving: United States and Canada

Thanksgiving is celebrated in both Canada and the USA, with particular emphasis in the U.S. In Canada, Thanksgiving falls in October, and in the U.S., near the end of November.

The day calls for a feast. Traditionally, families come together, even from a distance, so everyone is seated together around the table. A traditional Thanksgiving meal involves roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and of course, a warm pumpkin pie—just to name a few items!

Throughout U.S. history, many immigrants have added their own cultural traditions to the American Thanksgiving table, from rice with gravy to ube cheesecake and so much more.

About Remitly

Remitly makes international money transfers faster, easier, more transparent, and more affordable. Since 2011, over 5 million people have used our secure mobile app to send money with peace of mind.

Visit the homepage, download our app, or check out our Help Center to get started.

More About Fall Holidays

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover all aspects of the topics discussed herein. This publication is not a substitute for seeking advice from an applicable specialist or professional. The content in this publication does not constitute legal, tax, or other professional advice from Remitly or any of its affiliates and should not be relied upon as such. While we strive to keep our posts up to date and accurate, we cannot represent, warrant or otherwise guarantee that the content is accurate, complete or up to date.