Can't bear the bump and grind of the Notting Hill Carnival? Water babies can head for Docklands, site of the London on Water festival. Some 30,000 visitors are expected to drop by the boat show and seafood bonanza. Those wanting an eastern flavour on the Bank Holiday should visit either Asia Live or the Amazing Thailand festival. Amazing Thailand has transformed a little corner of Surrey into Bangkok. As unlikely as it seems, the 150- acre Hurst Farm, in Milford, has turned into an authentic Thai street with restaurants, stalls and street entertainers. Out go pony rides and cream teas and in come steaming vats of Tom Yam and folk dancers. Funds raised will be donated to the Mudita Trust, a charity working to prevent child prostitution.The festival will culminate with the launching of lotus-shaped floats with candles on the lake. Meanwhile, in Wembley Exhibition Centre, Asia Live caters for anyone who has an interest in Asian culture, with performances by Bollywood stars, live music, fashion shows and cookery demonstrations.
The thunder of feet can be heard heading for Madrid this week as city dwellers return from their holidays on the costas, and the flamenco world stampedes the Conde Duque cultural centre for one of Spain's highest- calibre flamenco festivals. The festivals culminate with Con Duende, where flamenco's great and good will either attend or perform in shows which open on 1 September with a tribute to Orillo del Puerto, featuring dancers such as Mario Maya, El Guito, Manolete and La Tati. Plus singers Enrique Morente, Jose Merce and Rancapino along with guitarists Paco Cebero, Habichuela, Moraito Chico and Montoyita. Performances start at 9pm. Box Office (tel: 00 34 91 588 5834).
Residents of Calbayog, in the Visayas islands, take to the streets to do the funky chicken, or something of the sort. The city of Calbayog sits above one of the Philippines' most beautiful stretches of coastal road, which, for the first week of September, is overrun with strutting dancers dressed as preening cockerels. Sarakiki is an annual cockerel-inspired dance festival where the choreography is characterised by the movements of the vociferous bird, with costumes designed to match its plumes. According to the legend of IIahas, Sarakiri came from the word "sakingking" which means to allure, to provoke an enemy, to fight and deter an opponent, or to enchant and bewitch. The festival is seen as a manifestation of courtship, song and war dance, and the movements are accompanied by original drums and other traditional Samareno musical instruments.
Held on the eighth day of the dark half of the month (or 3 September for more prosaic timekeepers), Krishna Janmashtami is one of the greatest of all Hindu festivals, held to commemorate the birth of Lord Krishna. Although this is a national holiday, Mathura and Brindavan, where Krishna spent his childhood, are the best places for celebrations and temple decoration, along with Bombay and Agra. Pilgrims flock to crowded temples bearing gifts for Krishna, and Krishna Leela - stories from his eventful youth - are performed. In Maharasthra, earthen pots of curd and butter are strung up high above the streets, and young men, enacting a typically mischievous event from Krishna's youth, form human pyramids by climbing on one another's shoulders in order to try to break the pots.
Prepare to boldly go where hundreds of thousands have gone before you with "From the Bowl to the Moon - and Beyond". This event at the Hollywood Bowl (3-4 September) features music from Holst's The Planets and music from Tom Hanks's mini series From the Earth to the Moon along with Nasa footage projected on to the bowl's big screen and special guest appearances by Nasa astronauts. If cultural travel appeals more than space travel, then head along the coast to San Francisco, where the Sausalito Art Festival takes place from 4-6 September. Sausalito, a Labor Day tradition, is one of America's biggest arts festivals where more than 1,200 artists exhibit and sell their work on the north bay waterfront. Along with sculpture, ceramics and jewellery there will be a children's theatre, gourmet food, fine Californian wine and live entertainment.
Berlin's most happening district puts on The Miracle of Oranien Street, a street party with a bizarre mixture of events. Alongside the requisite hip German bands and DJs, there are fashion shows, cookery performances and an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of Records by staging the world's largest open-air bingo game. Perhaps more reflective of Oranienstrasse's avant-garde character and varied ethnic make-up, there will be plenty of alternative music from Turkish hardcore to Oriental house. It runs from 10-2pm, Oranienstrasse, Kothusser Tor.
COMPILED BY SARAH BARRELL