Arts and Culture

Top 5 events in September

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September’s right around the corner, bringing with it the hope and renewal of spring. From adorably innocent baby lambs to ambitious spring cleaning plans, the month offers great promise for fresh starts, novel resolutions and something new. 

Whether you’re looking for something to treat dad in light of Father’s Day on the 6th or you simply want to get away from it all, September could be a fantastic month for travelling. Here are a few of the world’s exciting events to inspire your adventures:

1. Outlook Festival 

Fort Punta Christo, Croatia | September 2-6  

Hasten to an abandoned fort at the top of the Adriatic Sea for a dance festival you won’t soon forget. {outlook festival’s on my bucket list!}

Located near a beach close to Pula, Croatia, the Outlook Festival offers an eclectic mix of music from some of the biggest names in the world, and a venue to truly set the experience apart.

Not only do you get stunning seascape views, the underground dance music will make your heart pulse with the deep, thrilling bass. Plus, the opening concert takes place in a huge Roman amphitheatre that’s around two millennia old – a unique atmosphere for an event that’s all about the vibes.  

2. Regata Storica  

Venice, Italy | September 6  

Venice's canals and gondolas are at the centre of the regatta. Venice’s canals and gondolas are at the centre of the regatta.

Ah, Venice. The winding waterways, the gorgeous architecture, the rich Venetian culture. If you’re like most people, the city’s name evokes images of graceful gondolas and elegant canals. What better reason to visit than a historic regatta? 

The Regata Storica di Venezia takes place on the first Sunday of September, forming an annual tradition that commemorates the city’s past. Building on thousands of years of rowing through the city’s lagoons, the Regata Storica is the main event of its type. You’ll see boat loads of 16th-century gondolas, complete with gondoliers wearing period costumes. 

A great way to transport yourself both in time and place, visiting Venice for this regatta will give you exciting races, charming scenery and a good dose of nostalgia. 

3. Whitianga Scallop Festival 

Whitianga, New Zealand | September 19 

Indulge in some scallops in New Zealand.Indulge in some scallops in New Zealand.

Croatia and Italy may be saying farewell to summer, but for New Zealand the best of the sunny days are yet to come. The 2015 Whitianga Scallop Festival is a great way to welcome the warmer months, and you certainly can’t go past the gorgeous scenery in the region. 

Located on the Coromandel Peninsula, this event is truly paradise for seafood lovers. You’ll be able to take your pick of some 60 cuisine stands, each aiming to please with specialties that will tantalise your taste buds. They’ve got your other senses covered, too, with a line up of performers that are sure to delight. More of a hands-on foodie? Enter yourself in the cook-off and showcase your seafood culinary prowess. 

Not too far from Auckland, Whitianga finds itself at the centre of Mercury Bay and offers an endearing township in the midst of peaceful yet stunning coastline. 

4. Oktoberfest 

Munich, Germany | September 19 – October 4 

Raise a glass to celebrate Oktoberfest in Munich.Raise a glass to celebrate Oktoberfest in Munich.

Yes, we know it’s called “Oktoberfest”, but this celebration was just too much for October to hold. This year, it’s starting on September 19 in Munich, which is basically the best place in the world to participate in this beer-drenched, wurstl-bursting folk festival. After all, Munich was where it all began.

The 16-day Bavarian affair includes parades, performances, rides, concerts, gun salutes, live music, traditional religious mass, shooting competitions and, of course, beer. Don’t worry about drinking on an empty stomach, either – there’s more flavourful delights than you could wish for, from enormous soft pretzels and hearty sausages to slow-roasted oxen and Schweinshaxe (pickled ham). Is your mouth watering yet? 

Despite the focal point breweries hold, the colourful tents and outdoor spaces have plenty on offer for families, as well. Kids will love the costume parade and you’ll delight in the discounted rate for rides on Family Day (September 29). 

5. Mid-Autumn Festival 

China | September 27 

Royal families used to enjoy the moon from the Summer Palace in Beijing.Royal families used to enjoy the moon from the Summer Palace in Beijing.

China’s Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as Moon Cake Festival, celebrates the middle of the season, the harvest and the moon. Aside from bringing in the New Year, you can’t get much bigger than this as far as parties in China go. 

The main attraction is, of course, the moon cake and the moon. These tasty pastries are filled with delightful sweets like jelly or red bean pastes, and those in the know start snacking on them weeks in advance. Each region has its own hallmark flavours. During the September full moon (or October’s – it follows the Chinese lunar calendar), people commemorating the holiday eat cakes under the night sky, taking in the giant bright orb at the centre of it all. 

Of course, participants don’t stop at moon cakes. You may encounter rituals, dragon and lion dances, incense and Kongming lanterns hung from towers. Also called “Day of Reunion”, this festival is also a time when people head home to be with their families, enjoying dinner together and two days off work. If you’re in China during the festival, join in the spirit by seeking out great moon-viewing places, such as on top of skyscrapers and near open bodies of water.

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