WELLINGTON/AUCKLAND, New Zealand Oct. 21/Oct. 27-28
Every fall (or spring, if you're in the Southern Hemisphere), these cities team up to celebrate the festival of lights -- Diwali, not Hanukkah. A marathon of dance performances, Bollywood costumes, live music, vegetarian food, and the glow of small lamps honors the traditional Indian holiday. For Hindus, one mission of Diwali has been to light up the darkest nights of the year before winter. But of course, in Auckland, it will be turning summer. This year, the Auckland Festival of Photography will participate with an exhibition about the tradition called "Light."
Animania Festival SYDNEY Sept. 28-30
One month before Halloween, the city gives you a reason to practice dressing up. Activities at the annual celebration of anime include karaoke, film screenings, sword demonstrations, and "Cosplay" (for costume play), which involves people -- most of them grown-ups -- dressing up as their favorite manga characters. It's international people-watching, and the best-dressed win prizes. Tickets $15-$50.
Honobia Bigfoot Festival HONOBIA, Okla. Oct. 5-6
Once a year, those people who believe in Bigfoot convene, along with spectators, in the middle of what might be called the Oklahoma City, Dallas-Fort Worth, Little Rock, Ark., triangle (or simply the middle of nowhere in eastern Oklahoma) for two days of Bigfoot talk. Specialists lecture about why Bigfoot may exist and ordinary people tell tales about when they may have seen the beast. (Some bring pictures.) For nonbelievers, there's an art show, a quilt show, a 5K run, and a talent contest. A featured speaker will be Scott Schubbe, of the Alliance of Independent Bigfoot Researchers. The guest of honor may make an appearance, but there are no guarantees. Free.
HDFEST LONDON Oct. 1
HDFEST's mission is straightforward: to show the best high-definition films. And organizers swear it's not an event for tech-geeks only: "There are six letters in our name, and four of them focus on the festive as in 'FEST,' " they say. At the London installment of the worldwide (Seoul, New York, Finland, and Los Angeles in preceding and following months) festival, you can see such movies as "We Are the Strange," an animated fantasy feature. Every entry will look up-close-and-personal and be competing for honors called Deffies.
Emma Crawford Festival -- Coffin Race and Parade MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. Oct. 27
Emma Crawford is a celebrity in central Colorado, where the tubercular young woman died at the turn of the 20th century and was buried at the peak of her loved Red Mountain. After years of bad weather, her remains became unearthed -- and took a nose-dive down the mountain. The community just outside Colorado Springs honors this "incident" with the annual Emma Crawford Festival, a parade timed to Halloween that includes a race of decorated coffins. Rules for entry are online.
manitousprings.org , 719-685-5089, 800-642-2567.
Events sometimes are canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; call or check online to confirm. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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