The oyster- shucking championship (above) is one of the highlights at Ireland's Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival.
The oyster- shucking championship (above) is one of the highlights at Ireland's Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival.PHOTO: GALWAY INTERNATIONAL OYSTER & SEAFOOD FESTIVAL
Soak up design through installations, workshops, exhibits and lectures at the London Design Festival (above).
Soak up design through installations, workshops, exhibits and lectures at the London Design Festival (above).PHOTO: THE LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL


A celebration of the triumph of good over evil, Galungan is the most important festival of the year for Balinese Hindus.

It is a time when people return home to their families to make offerings and show their gratitude to the creator of the universe and to the spirits of their ancestors, who are believed to be also paying their home a visit during this period.

At home and at the local temple, flowers and food are offered and dances performed to entertain the ancestors. Long, decorated bamboo poles with offerings dangling from them are hung over roadsides and in front of homes.

On Kuningan, the last day of the 10-day festival, offerings of yellow rice are presented in honour of the Hindu god Vishnu at Sakenan Temple on Serangan Island in southern Denpasar. There, a series of sacred dances and rituals is performed by pilgrims who attend from all over the island. When: Sept 7 to 17 Info:


For 10 days every year at the Toronto International Film Festival, Canada's largest city is a hot bed of Hollywood and European stars.

Hundreds of people form queues around the block and wait for hours to catch the premieres of the year's hottest movies. More than 300 films are shown, divided into categories including Gala and Special Presentations, for films with big-name directors and famous movie stars; Midnight Madness, featuring horror and action films; and City To City, which showcases the work of film-makers living and working in a selected city. When: Sept 8 to 18 Info:


The London Design Festival is one of the most important events in the world of design, attracting more than 200,000 people to its 400-odd events and exhibitions every year.

Started by British designer and architect John Sorrell and festival director Ben Evans, the nine-day event brings together the country's greatest thinkers, practitioners and educators to showcase design from varying perspectives through lectures, panels, pop-ups, workshops, installations and art exhibits.

This year, the inaugural London Design Biennale, from Sept 7 to 27, will be held at Somerset House in conjunction with the festival. More than 35 countries will present newly commissioned works based on the theme, Utopia By Design, focusing on questions concerning sustainability, migration, pollution, energy, cities and social equality. When: Sept 17 to 25 Info:


In Slovenia, summer lasts till the cows come home. In the forested Bohinj mountain valley, that day is celebrated on the third Sunday in September with the Cow Ball, which has marked the coming of winter for the past 50 years.

After a summer spent feeding in green pastures, the cows are decorated with wreaths and welcomed home with a festival of cheese, wine and a parade past Lake Bohinj.

Visitors who tire of eating and drinking can join the local herders, cheese-makers and townspeople in folk music and dance performances, Bohinj brass band concerts, workshops, craft markets and traditional competitions. When: Sept 18 Info:


After St Patrick's Day, the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival is the biggest event on Ireland's social calendar.

Held in honour of Galway's annual oyster-harvesting season, which runs from September to April, the festival is attended by more than 20,000 visitors who slurp down dozens of oysters and pints of Guinness stout.

In addition to an international oyster-shucking championship, the festival also features street parades, culinary demonstrations, food tastings and celebrity chef cook-offs. But the highlight is its oyster-eating trail, when visitors hop from bar to bar and are served free oysters with each pint of Guinness. When: Sept 23 to 25 Info:

Lydia Vasko

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 28, 2016, with the headline 'Agenda'. Subscribe