What's on around the world in September
In the Northern Hemisphere, celebrate the end of season harvest with ancient, elaborate festivals. Sports fans will be spoilt for choice with championship events in North America and the UK. Another option is to simply sit back and have a bite to eat or a drink at one of the many food and beverage festivals in the US, Germany and New Zealand.
North American Ironman 70.3 Championships, Canada
Become a part of Ironman history and visit the North American Ironman 70.3 Championships in Quebec on 7 September. For the first time in the history of the tournament, the championship event will be held outside of the United Sates in the picturesque, French-Canadian town of Mont-Tremblant. The three-part event includes a 1.2-mile (2.09km) swim, 56-mile (90.12km) bike and a 13.1-mile (21.08km) run.
Set in the heart of the Laurentian Mountains at the Mont Tremblant Resort, there is plenty to see and do besides cheer on the world's best Ironman athletes. The resort area offers plenty of entertainment and dining options including mini golf, boutiques and bistros. Visit the Ironman website for a full overview of the package options available for the North American Ironman 70.3 Championships.
Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, USA
19 September to 10 November
Experience the magic of Disney at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival held at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida from the 19th of September to the 10th of November. Immerse yourself in food and beverages from 30 nationalities while enjoying everything that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer.
Taking place at the Epcot World Showcase, the International Food and Wine Festival is a family friendly event. The two-month festival also features cooking demonstrations, beverage seminars, and nightly entertainment. This is a must-see event for foodies, and the festival promises new and exciting experiences each time you visit.
Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta, England and Ryder Cup, Scotland
5 September to 9 September and 23 September to 28 September
Sail back in time to relive the glory days of exploration on the high seas at the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta in the UK. The regatta begins on the 5th of September, when 50 tall ships sail into port in Greenwich, along the Thames River. Greenwich is the final stop of the Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival that begins in late August. There will be a variety of events each day during the festival, including fireworks displays, pop-up theatres, live music, parades and much more.
Visitors can book an individual or group cruise on one of the many tall ships taking part in the Regatta. The cruises are an excellent way to see London from the Thames and get a front row seat for the evening fireworks.
Also on in the UK during September is the Ryder Cup. Part of the prestigious PGA Tour, the Ryder Cup returns to the birthplace of golf between the 23rd and 28th of September for the second time in 93 yearsi, with the American and British Teams set to battle for victory. Taking place at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland, this event is a must see for any golf fan.
20 September to 5 October
Oktoberfest is arguably one of the most celebrated festivals in the world. However, don't let the name fool you; Oktoberfest is a two-week festival beginning on the 20th of September and only lasting a few days into October. Munich is the traditional home of Oktoberfest, and the festival offers some of Germany's best brews, food and local entertainment.
The festival kicks off with a parade through Munich and the tapping of the first Oktoberfest beer barrel and concludes with the traditional gun salute on the steps of the Bavaria monument. Visit the official Oktoberfest website for the full calendar of events.
With millions of people flocking to Munich for the festival, booking travel and accommodation can be tricky the longer you leave it. Why not take advantage of one of the many tour packages available that will take care of your travel and accommodation for you?
Autumn Equinox, Chichén Itzá, Mexico
Immerse yourself in the mystery that surrounds the Mayan civilisation and celebrate the autumnal equinox among the ruins of Chichén Itzá on the 23rd of September. The spring and autumn equinoxes were important dates in the Mayan calendar as these solar events marked planting and harvest timesii. The Pyramid of Kuklcán is the centre of the sacred festival and it is the backdrop to a spectacular show twice a year, where light and shadow from the setting suniii create the illusion of a giant serpent winding its way down the pyramid steps. The shadowy serpent joins with the ceremonial statue of Kukulcán, the feathered serpent god, at the base of the 91-step pyramidii.
Chichén Itzá was once the most powerful city in the Mayan civilisationii and the surrounding ruins offer a glimpse into the ancient world. From Chichén Itzá, you can easily visit other coastal areas like Uxmal, Sayil, Labna, Kabah and Mayapan, which were all significant to Mayan culture.
Mid Autumn Festival, China
8 September 2014
Second only to Chinese New Year, the Mid Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, symbolises the changing of the seasons. Held on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, the date of the festival does change from year to year and falls on the 8th of September for 2014.
Traditionally, the festival is a time to celebrate the year's harvest and offer sacrifices to the moon of fruits and other snacks for a plentiful harvest the following year. Participants also celebrate by indulging on special moon cakes, a sweet treat of thin dough filled with jelly, dates, nuts or red bean paste up to a month before the full mooniv. There are many legends associated with the festival, including the tale of Change E, who fled to the moon to protect her husbandv.
The Moon Festival is celebrated throughout China; however, some of the most popular destinations include Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Each city will have its own traditions, festivals and popular locations to view the full moon. Especially popular in Hong Kong, the Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated with the Fire Dragon Dance, which winds its way through the streets of Tai Hang Village in Causeway Bay.
All Blacks Rugby and The Great NZ Food Show, New Zealand
6 and 13 September and 6 to 7 September
If you want to stay a bit closer to home, our neighbours to the east have plenty going on in September. Cheer on the All Blacks as they take on Argentina in the Investec Rugby Championship at McLean Park in Napier on the 6th of September, and arch rivals South African Springboks on the 13th of September at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Both matches will attract large crowds, so be quick to grab your tickets, which you can do through Ticketek and TicketDirect.
If rugby isn't your cup of tea, you can check out The Great NZ Food Show in Hamilton on the North Island on the 6th and 7th of September. This inaugural event promises to showcase the best in food and wine from the Waikato region. The two-day show will offer cooking classes, tastings, live cooking demonstrations at the Cooking Theatre, and the latest kitchen gadgets.