Top 10 Most Popular Holidays in November Around The World
Top 10 Popular Holidays in November Around The World

November is best known for Thanksgiving and Veterans Day, but it's packed with an abundance of special days of awareness and observances to celebrate. Two Christian holidays, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, fall within early November, and the Advent calendar begins at the end of the month to countdown until Christmas, as well. Daylight savings time ends in November, though the date varies.

The list of the top 10 most popular November holidays around the world

1. Nov. 01: All Saint's Day

2. Nov. 04: Diwali

3. Nov. 05: Guy Fawkes’ Day

4. Nov. 10: Day of Tradition

5. Nov. 11: Veterans Day

6. Nov. 13: Ides of November

7. Nov. 15: Shichi-go-san – 七五三

8. Nov. 15: Bon Om Touk – បុណ្យអុំទូក

9. Nov. 25: Thanksgiving

10. Nov. 28: Hanukkah

What are the most popular November holidays in the world?

1. All Saints’ Day

Top 10 Most Popular Holidays in November Around The World
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

All Saints’ Day on November 1 is holy in the Western Christian tradition, celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, the Lutheran Church, and more. It is designed to show honor and reverence to saints both canonized and unknown, and in some faiths also to give thanks to those who have guided others to Christ, like a friend or relative.

Around the world, there are many traditions woven into All Saints’ Day, from the laying of flowers on graves on November 1 to the Mexican Day of the Dead — which honors children who have passed on, on the holiday’s first day — not to mention Halloween in the U.S. and Canada, a celebration that originally was in large part linked to All Saints’ Day.

2. Nov. 04: Diwali

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, Deepawali, and Divali, is the Hindu festival of lights. The date of the holiday varies each year according to the Hindu calendar. It’s held from the 14th day of the dark half of Aashwayuja to the 2nd day of the bright half of Kaartik, which falls in October or November. The celebration comes just as the monsoon season ends and the weather is calm and mild.

Top 10 Most Popular Holidays in November Around The World
Photo: Tandem

Diwali translates as “row of lights.” This five-day festival is a spectacular display throughout India as dipas/deepas (clay oil lamps), brightening every windowsill. The festival honors the Hindu goddess Laksmi, the goddess of fortune, good luck, riches, and generosity. She visits every home during the festival. Diwali also celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

There are many legends that describe the origin of this holiday. In the North, folklore tells of the homecoming of Lord Sri Rama to Ayudhya and the defeat of Rawana by Rama. The Hindu classic “Ramayana” chronicles this defeat in 5,000 verses. In the South, legend tells of the victory of Lord Krishna over the evil demon Naraksura. Lord Krishna was welcomed home by people and gods alike. There is yet another story that tells of the victory of Ram over Ravan. All the stories share a common aspect, that there was no moon present on the night of the homecoming so dipas were placed in every window and fireworks illuminated the sky. This tradition is followed every year.

3. Guy Fawkes’ Day

Guy Fawkes Day, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night, and Firework Night is celebrated in the United Kingdom. In 1605, Guy Fawkes (a member of the Gunpowder Plot) was caught guarding explosives placed beneath the House of Lords. He was hung, drawn, and quartered. Celebrating that King James I had survived this attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London. A year later, Parliament declared the Observance of the 5th November Act as a day of public thanksgiving.

Top 10 Most Popular Holidays in November Around The World
Photo: Awareness Days

For a time this day took on Protestant religious overtones and anti-Catholic sentiment. Celebrations became increasingly aggressive. Towards the end of the 18th century, children started begging for money with the effigies of Guy Fawkes, the day became known as Guy Fawkes Day. Still, there were increasingly violent class-based confrontations. By 1859, the Observance of the 5th November Act was repealed. The violence slowly ebbed, and by the 20th century, the day became a social event.

Today, there are many organized events and bonfires, and firework displays. Prior to the celebration, people make effigies of Guy Fawkes. Children go door to door with smaller effigies begging for “a penny for the Guy.” On Guy Fawkes Night, the effigies are lit on fire and blaze atop a bonfire. Children also play pranks on others just like on Halloween.

4. Nov. 10: Day of Tradition

Day of Tradition (Día de la Tradición) is celebrated in Argentina on November 10. It commemorates the birthday of José Hernández, an Argentine poet best known for his epic poem Martín Fierro.

Top 10 Most Popular Holidays in November Around The World
Photo: Webplus

José Hernández was born on November 10, 1834. Although he was a journalist and a politician as well as a poet, he is almost exclusively known for his magnum opus Martín Fierro. Martín Fierro is an epic poem centered on the life of the gaucho, using him a symbol of Argentine national tradition and emphasizing the role of the gaucho in Argentina's independence from Spain.

Day of Tradition was created to celebrate the gaucho culture and the cultural impact of José Hernández. Although it is not a public holiday, it is widely marked throughout the country, with the main celebration being held in the town of San Antonio de Areco, which is regarded as the center of the gaucho culture.

5. Nov. 11: Veterans Day

Known as Armistice Day (France, Belgium) Poppy Day, Remembrance Day (Canada), Eleven Eleven Eleven Day (Netherlands), and Veterans Day (US), this day commemorates the armistice that ended World War I and honors those who fought.

Top 10 Most Popular Holidays in November Around The World
Photo: Time Magazine

Federal and most state employees in the United States get the day off from work. If the date falls on the weekend the nearest weekday is observed as the holiday. For example, if November 11th falls on Saturday the holiday would be on the previous Friday. In the UK, it’s held on the closest Sunday.

Many countries have services, laying of wreaths, hymns, and moments of silence. Poppies are strongly associated with World War I and Armistice Day. During World War I, the trenches could be seen across fields of brilliant red-orange poppies. Wreaths of poppies are often used as gravesite decorations on Veterans Day. Poppies are worn on the lapel in several different countries.

Who is Denis McDonough - Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Biography, Personal Life and Career Who is Denis McDonough - Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Biography, Personal Life and Career

6. Nov. 13: Ides of November

The Festival of Jupiter occurs on the Ides of November. On the ancient Roman calendar, the Ides fall on the 13th of the month, with an exception of a few months. The Ides were sacred to Jupiter, the god of the sky and thunder and king of the gods in Roman mythology.

Top 10 Most Popular Holidays in November Around The World
Photo: Wikidata

The Ides in September and November were Epulum Jovis or Epulum Iovis. Both held great feasts, the first being grander. And both were celebrated during the Ludi Romani (Roman Games) and the Ludi Plebeii (Plebeian Games).

Statues of the gods Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva were set around the dining table. They were served food and wine. At larger events, priests designated as epulones acted as proxies to eat the food. Traditionally Ides activities included leading a white lamb along the Via Sacra to the Capitolium for sacrifice to Jupiter.

7. Nov. 15: Shichi-go-san – 七五三

Top 10 Most Popular Holidays in November Around The World
Photo: Nippon

In Japan, “Shichi-Go-San” or “Seven-Five-Three” is a celebration of the rite of passage of young children for their continued growth and well-being. The celebrations are centered around boys between the ages of 3 and 5 and girls between the ages of 3 and 7.

Children dress in traditional kimonos, or western formal wear, and visit shrines with their parents. One of the favorite traditions for the children of course are the gifts of “Chitose Ame” or “Thousand Year Candy”. These candies are typically long, red and white symbolizing health and longevity, and are gift wrapped along with a crane and a turtle which also represent long life.

8. Nov. 15: Cambodian Water Festival

Close by the Khmer New Year, one of Cambodia’s most noteworthy yearly occasions is the Water Festival that falls around November of every year. The celebration happens on the full moon in the twelfth lunar month, and sees extensive scale festivities in both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. The Water Festival is a standout amongst the most essential occasions in Cambodia. The Water Festival happens more than three days in November all over Cambodia, with the greatest festivals along the Tonle Sap River before Royal Palace in Phnom Penh.

Top 10 Most Popular Holidays in November Around The World
Photo: Rainforest Cruises

The Water Festival was initially celebrated in the twelfth century, around the time of Angkorian King Jayavarman VII. The King’s Navy introduced the Cambodian fishing season. The festivities made the gods happy and secured good harvests of rice and fish in the upcoming year.

Another story is that Bon Om Touk was a route for the King to set up his naval force for the fight to come. There are carvings at Bayon Temple, at Banteay Chmear that show maritime fights like the watercraft races in present-day festivities.The celebration is praised in each area, however numerous Cambodians make a special trio from the provinces to the capital city, Phnom Penh. They often spend no less than two day getting a charge out of the merriments. In Phnom Penh people gather for enormous boat races, enlightened floats a moon welcome and eating of rice made with banana or coconut juice.

9. Nov. 25: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States, and Thanksgiving 2021 occurs on Thursday, November 25. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Native Americans shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

Top 10 Most Popular Holidays in November Around The World
Photo: Bible Study Tools

In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621.

Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird—whether roasted, baked or deep-fried—on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate.

Celebrating Hanukkah safely during Covid pandemic Celebrating Hanukkah safely during Covid pandemic

10. Nov. 28: Hanukkah

Hanukkah, which means ‘dedication' in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games, and gifts.

Top 10 Most Popular Holidays in November Around The World
Photo: ABC Chicago

The term Chanukah means "inauguration" or "dedication" as Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple and the altar. Hanukkah celebration consists of religious as well as non-religious customs. The utmost important custom is to light the 'menorah', a candelabra with eight branches accompanied by a holder for the shamash ('servant') candle that is used for lighting the other eight candles.

Traditionally, olive oil was used for lighting the menorah but replaced by candles afterward. These candles are inserted in the menorah in increasing order every night of the festival beginning from right to left but are lighted from left to right. Earlier, the menorah was ignited outside the home. Later in ancient times, it began to be lighted inside in order to guard against offending neighbors.


While some translations of the U.S. holiday may flow easily, others may sound awkward because of the fact that they are a direct translation from English and don’t have a true language equivalent in another language.

Take, for example, the Polish Happy Thanksgiving translation“Wszystkiego najlepszego z okazji Święta Dziękczynienia”. In order to achieve the Polish equivalent, a very lengthy description of the English phrase must be used.

In some languages, the words “good” and “happy or merry” may be interchangeable when referring to a holiday. For example, in French, the phrase translates either as “Bonne Action de Grâce” (with Bonne meaning good) or “Joyeux Action de Graces” (with Joyeux meaning happy) depending on your preference.

Finally, word order and grammatical differences must also be taken into account depending on the language. In the Portuguese thanksgiving translation, like in the French and Spanish thanksgiving translation, the word order is changed from “Happy Thanksgiving Day” to “Happy Day of Giving Thanks” or “Feliz Dia de Ação de Graças“.

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