This week brings a number of events and festivals, many marking the coming of winter and Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere. Windsor Castle will launch its Regency-themed Christmas tours, Niagara Falls will light with winter lights and Germany and Europe will see Christmas markets spring up. Elsewhere, animals will be part of the festivities, with the Pushkar Camel Fair in India and the Surin Elephant Round-up in Thailand.
The Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights will kick off on 21 November. The Canadian event lights up the falls, which straddle the US border, with bright illuminations. The festival lights up a five-kilometre route through the Niagara Parks, the Dufferin Islands and surrounding areas. The event also features the illumination of the falls themselves and fireworks. The event runs until 31 January.
Starting Saturday, visitors to Windsor can get into the Christmas spirit early with a visit to a Regency-themed display at Windsor Castle. The display shows hot the Prince Regent, later to become George IV, celebrated the holidays in the early 19th-century, complete with decorated trees, a laid table, and a yew tree. The tours run from 21 November to 5 January.
Traditional Christmas Markets are popping up around Europe, including many in Germany, where they are called Weihnachtsmarkt. The markets bring authentic Christmas traditions, such as hot chestnuts, gingerbread, mulled wine and more, throughout late November and December. Nuremberg’s Christkindlmarkt is a well-known market, but read more about Lonely Planet’s German Christmas market suggestions here.
The annual Pushkar Camel Fair in on in the town of Pushkar, located in the state of Rajasthan, India. The event ends on the full moon in the Hindu lunar month of Kartika, this year between 14 and 23 November. While the event can draw in 50,000 camels and 200,000 people, the festival extends beyond just buying and selling livestock. There is a moustache competition, sport and much more.
This weekend, thousands of people will head to Surin, Thailand, near the Cambodian border, for the country’s biggest elephant show, the Surin Elephant Round-up. The show involves the animals playing soccer, log-pulling, tug-a-war and more. Traditionally, the people of the Thai province have trained elephants as work animals. There is also an elephant breakfast, where the roads are lined with food for the elephants to enjoy. The festival runs through this weekend on Saturday and Sunday.