LOI KRATHONG FESTIVAL November 2-4 Chiang Mai, Thailand
Paying tribute to the Goddess of Water, this three-day event is dubbed the Festival of Lights. Thousands head to the river and other bodies of water to send off miniature boats carrying candles and flowers, symbolising the casting away of misfortune.
BON OM TOUK November 3-4 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Celebrating the end of rainy season, this festival features firework displays and street parties. The centrepiece is a longboat race on the Mekong and the Tonle Sap Rivers, said to commemorate an ancient Cambodian king chasing away an enemy fleet.
MUDTOPIA December 1-3 Rotorua, New Zealand
The ultimate dirty weekend, this event mixes yoga and spa treatments, with a marathon and obstacle races: the common thread being a liberal helping of volcanic mud. Famous Kiwi DJS and musicians provide the soundtrack as you immerse yourself.
OSHIROI MATSURI December 2 Fukuoka, Japan
Also nicknamed the ‘Face Paint Festival’, this event sees freshly harvested rice ground into powder and smeared onto the faces of worshippers. The idea is to encourage a good harvest so the white paste must stay on the face until you arrive home.