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November Celebrations in the U.K.

 

With the cool weather returning (although depending on where you live, it’s always been a touch cool), you might think the United Kingdom’s festivals and celebrations might cool off as well but you’d be mistaken. Just because the summer is over it doesn’t mean there isn’t a whole host of activities to keep you busy in the U.K. regardless of your tastes or budget.

For the month of November there are any number of large and small scale events to check out in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales, but if you have a chance, be sure to check out these two if you happen to be in the U.K!

Aberfeldy Festival

Located north of Stirling and Edinburgh just off the A9 highway (and south of Cairngorms National Park), the town of Aberfeldy, Scotland is home to a festival at the beginning of November.

In its third year, the Aberfeldy Festival is a celebration of Scottish culture, food and art – which includes literature, music and a variety of other forms. Novelist Ian Rankin will be on hand again from last year to give talks and give his involvement to the festival which is shaping up to be even bigger than last year’s sell out show.

Running over the first weekend in November (Friday Nov. 2nd – Saturday Nov. 3rd), the festival will kick off and end with music from some of Scotland’s most exciting bands and include food from some o the country’s top chefs. If you have a chance to attend, be sure to do so!

Guy Fawkes Night

Remember, remember the fifth of November…

Even if you have no idea who the guy is, you’ve probably seen the mask before, particularly in light of the ‘Occupy’ movement adopting its usage. Guy Fawkes and the date of the event featured heavily in the film V for Vendetta, so if you need to do some research to get pumped, get crackin!

Held every November 5th throughout the U.K, Guy Fawkes Night (or even the whole day, in some areas) sees the observance of an event dating back over 400 years to when a group of terrorists, to which Guy Fawkes was a part of, and caught, tried to blow up the parliament buildings with dynamite. Originally celebrated for it’s failure, in the decades and centuries that followed, November 5th as become much more about questioning those in power and a night of mischief.

Popular mainstays of the celebration include burning effigies of Guy Fawkes, fireworks, recitations of poems and of course, revelry. Just be careful where you choose to observe it, as in some areas of the U.K. it is a fairly contentious holiday.