Event-o-Rama: 12 Must-Dos in September

There are amazing things to see and do all over the world, all the time. A change of seasons is upon us, and we’re ready to embrace it. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in September:

  • Try a mooncake — they’re delicious — at the Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore’s Chinatown (similar festivities take place in mainland China and many other diaspora nations to celebrate the lunar harvest). But don’t let those mooncakes distract you from the main event: a parade featuring dancing dragons, ornate paper lanterns, and fireworks. The official date is September 30 this year, but the festivities go on for weeks.
  • Get your hula on at the Aloha Festival, Hawaii’s foremost cultural event. The festivities take place throughout the month of September on O’ahu, and celebrate each island’s unique traditions with an eye toward preserving them for future generations.
  • Betcha didn’t know this existed: September 27 marks World Tourism Day, a holiday created by the United Nations to promote global tourism. This year’s theme is Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development, with official celebrations taking place in Maspalomas, Spain.
  • If you’ve never been to a sing-sing (no, not the prison), you should probably check out the Goroka Show (September 14-16), where the tribes of Papua New Guinea come together to showcase their distinctive cultures through music and dance.
  • Find out more about the world on the big screen at National Geographic’s 8th annual All Roads Film Festival (September 27-30) in Washington, D.C., a four-day event that provides a platform for indigenous and underrepresented storytellers to showcase their incredible work.
  • See Europe’s busiest harbor at full steam at the World Port Festival in Rotterdam (September 7-9). This year’s theme is music, so make sure to bring your dancing shoes.
  • Stimulate your brain at the Jahazi Literary and Jazz Festival (August 31-September 2) in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Enjoy open-air jazz concerts, poetry readings, and great debate while soaking up the best of island life.
  • State Fair season is still in full swing in the U.S., with the largest one — at least by annual attendance — the State Fair of Texas (everything’s bigger in Texas), kicking off on September 28. Learn more about this curious American tradition and its culinary quirks by checking out Susan O’Keefe’s recent post, “Top 5 Yummiest State Fairs.”
  • Take part in a long tradition at the original Oktoberfest in Munich (it’s been going strong for 179 years). Contrary to its name, the world’s biggest fair actually begins in September – this year, on the 22nd. In addition to, duh, beer, you can sample all kinds of food, music, and rides. This is definitely one to add to your travel bucket list.
  • Ready, set, bargain hunt! There’s something for everyone at La Grande Braderie (September 1-2) in Lille, France. This flea market, Europe’s biggest, dates back to the 12th century.
  • Give thanks…to the patron saint of seafarers — the Virgen del Valle (the Virgin of the Valley) — along with the locals in Isla de Margarita, Venezuela from September 8-15. The festivities include street fairs and a vibrant blessing of the fleet procession.
  • Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. Exercise your pirate chops on September 19, International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the big day.

What would you add to the list? Let us know what we’re missing by leaving a comment.