Agenda Calendar of festivals: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

During Tori-no-Ichi, festivalgoers visit Otori-jinja shrines in Tokyo and buy lucky kumade - rakes made of bamboo, sold at stalls (left) around the shrines. In the Cayman Islands, thousands celebrate Pirates Week.
In the Cayman Islands, thousands celebrate Pirates Week.PHOTOS: PIRATES WEEK FESTIVAL, JNTO
During Tori-no-Ichi, festivalgoers visit Otori-jinja shrines in Tokyo and buy lucky kumade - rakes made of bamboo, sold at stalls (left) around the shrines. In the Cayman Islands, thousands celebrate Pirates Week.
During Tori-no-Ichi, festivalgoers visit Otori-jinja shrines in Tokyo and buy lucky kumade - rakes made of bamboo, sold at stalls (above) around the shrines.PHOTOS: PIRATES WEEK FESTIVAL, JNTO

SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, MEXICO

The Mexicans believe that death is a part of life and Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is held every year to celebrate the lives and memories of departed loved ones.

On All Hallows' Eve (tomorrow), All Saints' Day (Tuesday) and All Souls' Day (Wednesday), families gather around local cemeteries to tend to graves - decorating them with marigolds, candles and sugar skulls. And they feast and sing.

In 2012, the city of San Miguel de Allende added a modern twist to the tradition. It hosts a colourful six-day arts festival called La Calaca, which means "the skull".

The event features interactive installations, performances, workshops, conferences and parties inspired by the themes and traditions of death and Dia de los Muertos.

This year's edition includes DeadTalks, short lectures about life and death; followed by a screening of short death-themed films selected by the Guanajuato International Film Festival; and a Gala Night, where guests are encouraged to dress as skeletons or monarch butterflies.

There is also La Piramide de Muertos (The Pyramid of Death), an interactive installation where members of the public are invited to design and decorate their own nichos, handmade tin altars that are added to the community altar; and a David Bowie altar, a space filled with jewellery, fashion and music inspired by the late iconic musician.

When: Till Wednesday

Info: lacalacafestival.com


CAYMAN ISLANDS

Every November for the past 38 years, the people of the Cayman Islands have held a celebration unlike any other in the Caribbean.

During Pirates Week, thousands of people in the British Overseas Territory dress as pirates - complete with feathered caps, peg legs and eye patches - to attend dozens of parades, firework shows, street dances, costume contests, celebrations of traditional foods and even mock pirate invasions that take place across all three islands. Tourists who are headed for the festival should declare replica guns and swords at customs.

When: Friday to Nov 6, 10 to 20 and 25 to 27

Info: www.piratesweekfestival.com


TOKYO, JAPAN

To secure a fertile harvest and business success, the Japanese have celebrated Tori-no-Ichi, a festival in honour of the patron deity of good fortune, since the Edo period from the 17th to 19th centuries.

During the festival - held in November on days of the rooster, which occur every 12 days - thousands of people flock to Otori-jinja shrines to pray for good luck and strong sales. There are about 30 Otori-jinja shrines in Tokyo, but the most popular one is in Taito-ku, near the Asakusa neighbourhood, where hundreds of stalls pop up selling food, trinkets and shrine offerings.

The most popular item at the market is the kumade, a bamboo rake decorated with masks and gold coins, for raking in good luck. When a rake is sold, the buyer and seller clap their hands in harmony.

When: Saturday, Nov 17 and 29

Info: www.jnto.go.jp/eng/spot/ festival/torinoichi.html


PUSHKAR, INDIA

Few events can compare with the sights, sounds and smells of the Pushkar Camel Fair. Tens of thousands of camels, horses, cows, goats and sheep, as well as hundreds of thousands of people, converge and form a tent city in the desert around Pushkar to show off, compete and sell their chattel.

Camels are the highlight here, washed and decorated in expensive cloth and jewels and paraded around Pushkar. There are camel beauty contests, races and camel trading; men compete in moustache competitions and women in bridal competitions.

The bartering ends in time for the sacred Hindu holiday, Kartik Prunima, when devotees wash themselves at the water's edge to be cleansed of their sins.

When: Nov 8 to 14

Info: tourism.rajasthan.gov.in/ fairs-and-festivals


TOCUMWAL, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA

Spend a week with nature at Strawberry Fields, a music and arts festival held in the Australian wild, 270km north of Melbourne and almost 700km south of Sydney.

For three days every November, the forest outside the outback town Tocumwal becomes a fairground of market stalls, art installations, live performances and workshops.

More than 150 local and international musicians from genres such as hip-hop, electronica, funk and soul perform across four stages.

Other highlights include light installations and mind-bending sculptures such as The Space Whale, a 10,000kg full-scale stained glass and steel humpback whale mother and calf.

It was first unveiled at this year's edition of Burning Man - an annual event where a temporary community is erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada in the United States - and is touring the world.

When: Nov 17 to 20

Info: www.strawberry-fields.com.au

Lydia Vasko

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 30, 2016, with the headline 'Agenda Calendar of festivals'. Print Edition | Subscribe