23-31 October

Seychelles

The 13th Kreol Festival boasts some of the most authentic Creole music and art to be found on the world stage. Offering a diverse range of events from street performances, debates, the "Young Artists of the Creole World" exhibition and the "Kreolissimo" music concert at a number of venues, the festival promises to provide a colourful, entertaining and fascinating insight into one of the world's more enigmatic cultures.

24 October - 1 November

UK

All Hallows Week at Warwick Castle in Warwickshire promises visitors every opportunity to be frightened out of their wits, with Puritans, Daggers and Witchcraft as this year's spooky theme. There will be witch trials every day between 11am and 2pm where a perfectly innocent female meets a gruesome end unless the audience scream for mercy. Afternoon events feature two medieval knights fighting over whether Joan of Arc is a witch or saint, guides telling ghostly tales in the armoury and the obligatory witch hunt through the ghost tower, dungeon and torture chamber. Call Warwick Castle on 01926 495421 for more information.

Until 26 October

France

At the beginning of each winter season, the French ski resort, Les Deux Alpes, hosts Le Mondial Du Snowboard, the snowboard world exhibition. Held at 3,200 metres, this self-titled "Woodstock of snowboarding" is the highest snowboarding event in the world and attracts some 25,000 visitors annually. For anyone who wants to try the latest equipment there's the "Test Session" held on a glacier with some 1,500 boards on trial, and the style conscious can check out this winter's accessories, boards and clothes in fashion previews. Watch out for the "Big Air" event which features the best international and national snowboarders in races and jumps.

28 October

Greece

Okhi Day constitutes Greece's annual patriotic party. A national holiday that commemorates Metaxas's resolute one-word reply to Mussolini's 1940 ultimatum: "khi!" (No!). There are parades in Athens and around the country with folk-dancing and feasting.

28 October - 6 November

India

The Sonepur Mela is Asia's largest cattle fair, held in Sonepur in north- eastern India at the confluence of the Ganges and Gandak rivers. This month-long market takes place annually during the full-moon day of the month of Kartika. Along with the holy cow, decorated especially for the occasion, other livestock animals are traded; you can even pick yourself up an elephant in a reasonable condition for a very small outlay.

30 October - 1 November

Finland

Now in its 17th year, the Tampere Jazz Happening aims to give music-lovers the chance to experience the diverse sound of modern jazz. This year's programme includes musicians from all over the world, including France's Steve Lacy, Japan's Ryoji Hojito and Americans Robert Dick, Karen Borca and First Meeting, as well as locals Otn Eahket and the Pepa Paivinen Trio. The performances are shared between Pakkahuone Hal and the Club of the Old Customs House, and ticket prices range from between pounds 6 and pounds 14.

31 October

Scotland, UK

The Highly Prestigious Glenfiddich World Piping Championships brings the 10 best pipe players in the world to Inverness. Contestants participate in two testing events which aim to find the best overall exponents of coel Mor or piobaireachd (the great music) and coel beag (the little music). Although piping is an art, it has had a strong competitive tradition since 1746 when it was made illegal in the Highlands - passionate pipers staged a competition in an effort to revive interest and have the act repealed.

31 October

USA

"If there's something strange in your neighbourhood..." Yes, it's ghost bustin' time again in NYC with Manhattan's "Village Hallowe'en Parade" - surely the most monstrous of America's fright-night festivals. This phantom-filled procession takes place on Manhattan's 6th Avenue anywhere between Spring and 23rd streets, and attracts Greenwich Village's finest freaks in their most outrageous outfits. These supernatural celebrations involve some great music and an array of wild spirits - expect weird wigs, scary make-up and all manner of grotesque garb. For more moderate mayhem, there's a tamer children's parade during the day in Washington Square Park.

Sarah Barrell

Comments