Don’t miss the riot of colour in the skies of Albuquerque in New Mexico when giant hot-air balloons take to the air. Whether it’s choreographed displays or balloon races, there’s something going on from the break of dawn to late at night. The balloons come in all shapes and sizes, including fun ones like cows, suns and even Darth Vader. The best part? You don’t have to watch from down below, go up in a hot-air balloon yourself.
Where: New Mexico, U.S.A. | Duration 1 Oct - 9 Oct
The five-day Kumaon Literary Fest (KLF) takes place in two venues: Jim’s Jungle Retreat on the outskirts of Jim Corbett National Park, and Te Aroha, a boutique hotel in Kumaon, giving visitors a chance to meet acclaimed authors, but also explore two different sides of Uttarakhand. Speakers at the festival, include Amish Tripathi, author of the Immortals of Meluha series, journalists Rana Ayyub and Josy Joseph, and award-winning author, poet, and children’s book writer, Jerry Pinto. More here.
Where: Uttarakhand | Duration 11 Oct - 15 Oct
The always imposing Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur becomes even more magical during the Rajasthan International Folk Festival, when musicians from around the world perform here. In the mornings, bhajans reverberate against the stoic walls. Folk musicians perform by its shimmering waterbodies and in the evening, fusion performances unfold against its imposing facades. While you’re there, make time to go ziplining around the sandstone fortress and visit the Mehrangarh Fort Museum for the gorgeous Mughal miniature paintings.
Where: Jodhpur, Rajasthan | Duration 13 Oct - 17 Oct
The tradition of harvesting saffron in the town of Consuegra in Toledo, about 130km/1.5hr out of Madrid, goes back to the Middle Ages, when the Arabs first introduced the spice to this area. The threads of saffron, which are the flower’s stamens, have to be plucked out by hand—and there aren’t too many who still engage in this process. The festival hosts harvesting competitions, local foods, and craft displays.
Where: Toledo, Spain | Duration 28 Oct - 30 Oct