Fabulous fall festivals
All across the globe, autumn is a season warmly welcomed, with its promise of fabulous foliage, crisper and cooler temperatures, and delicious seasonal treats. Small towns and big cities around the world celebrate with exciting events and age-old traditions, from apple-picking in America to full-moon parties in Thailand to the Diwali festival of lights in India. This year, we’ve marked our calendars for the following favourite autumn traditions. Fall Festival at the Farmers Market, Los Angeles
Even though the sun-kissed leaves of Los Angeles may not change colour, the city substitutes autumn trees with a profusion of seasonal produce and an extreme enthusiasm for Halloween. At the Farmers Market in downtown LA, the annual fall festival brings families together for a whole range of events from marching bands to face painting and Jack O’Lantern carving, plus a healthy smattering of arts and crafts. This year the dates are October 20th and 21st, and they’re the perfect time to pick up a pumpkin and some caramel apples too. Go in costume!
Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St / +1 323 933 9211 / farmersmarketla.com
Takao Momiji Matsuri, Tokyo
Spring may have cherry blossom, but fall has maple, and the Takao Momiji Matsuri (Maple Leaf Festival) is quite literally breathtaking. The slopes of sacred Takao-san, 50 minutes from Shinjuku station, are home to thousands of Japanese maples, whose mutable leaves turn a firecracker scarlet and orange during the autumnal months. In November, when the colours are the most wow-worthy, locals and tourists flock to the mountain for ‘momiji-watching’, either by walking one of the six scenic hiking trails, or participating in the special weekend events like Taiko drumming, pop concerts, and traditional puppet shows. It’s the ideal spot for a weekend day trip – just don’t forget your camera!
Mt. Takao, Hachioji City / +81 42 643 3115 / Hachioji-kankokyokai.or.jp
for schedule NYC Food & Wine Festival, New York
The city that never sleeps is one big foodie town, and it’s no surprise that the first four editions of the NYC Food & Wine Festival went swimmingly – so next month, from October 11-14, the festival says cheers to five years. How better to usher in autumn than with 3 days of all-you-can-eat, super chef meet and greets? The stellar schedule this year includes the returning Meatball Madness by Glada de Laurentiis, high-tech happy hour with molecular maestros Wylie Dufresne and Dave Arnold, and a series of dinners hosted by top chefs from around the world. The best part about buying a ticket for the feast? 100% of the proceeds go to charities helping to fight hunger. Who doesn’t love to eat for a good cause?
Citywide / www.nycwineandfoodfestival.com Mid-Autumn Festival, Southeast Asia
One of China’s oldest traditions, the Mid-Autumn Festival has been observed since the Western Zhou Dynasty, over 3,000 years ago. Today, history lives on in the modern festivities, including plenty of fiery dragon dancing, paper lantern floating, moon gazing, and mooncake eating! If you’re in any celebrating cities, make sure you step out with lantern in hand, and if you’re in the Peninsula hometown of Hong Kong, don’t miss the Tai Hang Fire Dragon dance festival – an epic three-day celebration (Sep 29 – Oct 1) of fire and dance, and the city’s best spectacle.
Tai Hang / Causeway Bay (Lily Street, Ormsby Street, Tung Lo Wan Road) / +852 2577 2649 / taihangfiredragon.hk