Travel: Eat, drink and fall over a lot
What's on around the world in September
Sunday 05 September 1999
The Shoga Matsuri is a festival dedicated to ginger. Celebrations focus on the Ninomiya Shrine in Okutama and stalls sell ginger roots in the courtyard where it stands. On 14 September, Osaka celebrates the Danjiri Matsuri, a game of tug-of-war which pitches hundreds of hardy men against huge floats weighing more than 3,000kg and lavishly decorated with lanterns. Japan Tourist Office (tel: 0171-734 9638).
The Toronto International Film Festival features 300 films across six venues embracing celluloid unknowns as well as Hollywood celebrities. For 10 days Toronto is overrun by stars and directors, but the atmosphere remains "grassroots". Contact the festival organisers at www.bell.ca/filmfest.
Brussels rolls out the barrels this month, with a three-day beer festival in the heart of the city at the Grand' Place. Featuring more than 100 beers, offerings include the mighty McChouffel, Silly Pils, from the de Silly brewery, and Bush Blonde. To soak up something more cultural, the city's brewers' museum is within staggering distance of the festival. Belgian Tourist Office (tel: 0906 3020 245)
Celebrating the triumph of good over evil, the Dussehra annual festival marks the homecoming of Lord Rama after his brave defeat of the evil Ravana. Effigies of the demon king Ravana, his son Meghanath and brother Kumbhakarna are filled with fireworks and burnt on bonfires. In Mysore, the royal palace is decorated with thousands of lanterns and torchlit parades fill the streets with dancing and music. Indian Tourist Office (tel: 0171-437 3677)
18 SEPTEMBER-3 OCTOBER
It's that time of year again in Munich when residents snap on their braces - and brace their bellies - for some serious boozing. Munich is the third- largest beer producer in the world and during Oktoberfest six million litres of that beer are guzzled in the city alone. Five city breweries set up vast tents dedicated to singing, dancing and supping. Sit 10 to a bench and quaff a maas (a litre measure) of Maibock, from Hofbrau, the city's oldest brewer. Munich is famed for its beer halls and gardens and no time is better for Bacchanalia than now. German Tourist Office (tel: 0900 1600 100).
The third Sunday in September is the traditional time for Kravji Bal, when cows are brought down from alpine pastures to valley meadows for winter. Some 8,000 visitors journey to this agricultural extravaganza and feast on such rustic fare as zganci (sausage with cabbage) washed down with honey brandy. Slovenia Tourist Office (tel: 0171-287 7133)
The world's biggest aphrodisiac event must be the Galway International Oyster Festival. Shucking begins on the 23 September, when Irish teams vie for a place in the World Oyster Opening Championship two days later. Teams from every continent compete by shucking 30 shells as quickly as possible. A black-tie ball is followed by the search for an oyster queen. One hundred thousand oysters are consumed in just three nights. Irish Tourist Office (tel: 0171-493 3201)
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