September special events and festivals! Find fun fall festival picks from your Student Travel Guide or use this handy event and festival search engine from Travel Cuts, a Canadian student travel agency, to find worldwide festivals and special events - search by country, festival theme and/or date. The engine offers the option to search up to two years in advance, but you'll probably only see this year's festival dates unless they're annual special events - you'll see a disclaimer if it's possible that a particular festival's details may change.
Without specifying destinations, a random search for special events and festivals in the ten theme categories pulled up some examples of interesting things to see and do worldwide in September:Arts - International Urban Theatre Festival, Rome, Italy - The first day of this three day Roman street theater festival is devoted to young performers and "alternative theater." Sponsored by Abraxa Teatro.
Bizarre - Brotherhood of Goat Meat Eaters Festival, Bellegarde-en-Marche, France - Goat horns used as weapons saved the day for this French village during the Hundred Years War, and the lowly goat has been highly revered by townspeople since. The first Sunday in September sees a goatish parade through the charming streets and plenty of goat grub.
Festivals & Heritage - Xi'an Ancient Culture Festival, Xi'an, China - Wow. Cultural fairs and performances of traditional dance and music from the last 4000 years. Any visit to Xi'an must include a visit to the Terracotta Army site (see photo on right).
Gay and Lesbian - Gay Festival, Malmö, Sweden - RFSL, *the* organization for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people in northern Sweden, hosts this annual party featuring dances, concerts, art exhibitions and multilingual mingling.
Kids and Family - Fantoche Animation Festival - Fantoche, Baden, Switzerland - 300 internationally produced animated films for your viewing pleasure. The festival includes workshops and lectures and, of course, a chance to meet other eclectic filmgoers.
Lifestyle - Chinatown Festival, Bangkok, Thailand - Behind a tall red gate lies the labyrinth of Chinatown, where you can buy just about anything to eat, see a side of Thai culture and, during the Chinatown Festival, join in some wonderful partying. Where is the red gate? Ah. Ask a local. Note: the Shrimp and Petroleum Festival in Morgan City, Louisiana, which had occupied this space has been removed because of lack of information following Hurricane Katrina.
Music & Nightlife - Rock'n Coke, Hezarfen Airport, Istanbul, Turkey - Gogol Bordello and Placebo are in the line-up for this fly festival which includes areas for boarding and tai chi. Camping is the thing. (Check out the top Europe summer music festivals, too.)
Science & Knowledge - Techfest, Aberdeen, Scotland - Festival of science, technology, engineering and math. Sounds dry, huh? It's not. Fireworks and science fiction are on the action packed agenda of workshops, shows and demonstrations. Interesting lecture topics include "Forensic Anthropology and Gross Animals."
Sport & Outdoors - FIS Snowboarding World Cup: Valle Nevado, Valle Nevado, Chile - Chilling at one of South America's best powder pups. See the world's great boarders and take a little down time to explore the superpipe, pipe, boardercross and kicker parks.
DetailsWhen you click into an event, you'll be taken to its individual page with details like dates, venue and contact info, location and directions, a weather link, tourist offices and a link to the event's website if one exists. Because Travel Cuts is a full-service student travel agency, a bonus is that any event's home page also contains links to information about the hosting country:
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The Bottom LineThe search engine is surprisingly comprehensive, considering that it attempts to cover events and festivals worldwide. Play around with it for a bit and you may find yourself changing your travel plans to make sure you hit the Swiss National Yodelling Contest or the Japanese Rice Planting Festival.
"I think that travel comes from some deep urge to see the world, like the urge that brings up a worm in an Irish bog to see the moon when it is full."