It’s starting to cool down in the Northern Hemisphere and heat up in the south — a perfect time for festivals! Whether you’re heading to Burning Man, watching the gondolas in Venice, drinking too much or eating moon cakes, you’re sure to have an awesome time at one of these amazing September festivals around the world.
1. Burning Man
Where: Black Rock City, Nevada, USA
When: 2018: August 26 — September 3
Head into the Nevada desert with thousands of other people and help create the temporary community called Black Rock City. It’s a place and an experience like no other — partly because of the amazing people you meet, partly because of the crazy things you’ll find yourself doing, and partly because, yes, they actually do burn a man. An effigy, anyway. Read about Leigh’s experience of Burning Man or check out her excellent packing checklist.
2. Regata Storica
Where: Venice, Italy
When: 2018: September 3, 2019: September 1
The world’s most famous canals play host to the Regata Storica this month. The event starts with a procession of gondolas along the Grand Canal, with gondoliers in period dress. Following that, races begin. Find space wherever you can, canal-side, or you can buy tickets to a floating platform. Check out the programme.
3. Cure Salee, Festival of the Nomads
Where: In-Gall, Niger
When: Third week of September every year
The name of this festival means “Salt Cure”, and marks the end of the rainy season in West Africa. A traditional nomadic festival, it has become more controlled and mainstreamed by the government in recent years with the biggest part of the festival happening in In-Gall. At times shut down because of security issues, the government and sponsors are trying to meld it into a symbol of a unified Niger culture. Wikipedia has an interesting write-up and links for further reading.
4. Zhong Qiu Jie (Moon Cake Festival)
Where: China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and other countries with significant Buddhist populations
When: 2018: September 24, 2019: September 13
It’s time to head down to your local Chinese bakery, because the mooncakes are coming out! This festival is connected with several legends, from the man and lady of the moon to a Chinese rebellion. It’s a romantic time with many choosing to get married now, and perfect for moon-gazing.
Where: Munich, Germany (among many others!)
When: 2018: September 22 — October 7, 2019: September 21 — October 6
How do you feel about King Ludwig I getting married? Back in 1810? Well, if you’re heading to Munich for the world’s most famous beer festival, you’ll still be celebrating it in the fields named after Ludwig’s new wife: the Teresienwiese. Munich is at its busiest, and absolutely heaving with stein-swinging foreigners in lederhosen. If it all gets too much, Nuremberg also celebrates Weisn, but in a more relaxed way.
6. Burke Fall Festival
Where: Burke, Vermont, USA
When: 2018: September 29
Local festivals in small towns are a great way to experience local life, and Burke’s celebration of autumn’s arrival is a great example of this kind of celebration. There’s a parade, wagon rides, free ice-cream, and lots of stalls selling handcrafts and street food.
7. Brisbane festival
Where: Brisbane, Australia
When: 2018: September 8-29
September is a great time to be in the capital of Australia’s sunny state of Queensland, as Brisbane celebrates all things arts-related. There are hundreds of events to choose from, spanning everything from theatre, to dance, comedy, music and lectures. Plus there are many free events such as street art displays and fireworks.
8. Totally Thames festival
Where: London, UK
When: September 1-30
If you happen to be in London in September, head to the banks of the River Thames and take part in the Totally Thames festival. There’s river-inspired art, free performances, boat races, and a whole lot more. The lineup changes every year, so even if you’ve been before there’ll be something new!
This list of the top September festivals is in no particular order, and is also completely subjective — they’re the festivals we’ve most enjoyed, or would most like to take part in, of all the festivals that take place in September. Let us know if there are festivals you think we should add to this list!