Calendar of festivals

Historical ships opening Venice's Regata Storica, a highlight of the Venetian calendar.
Historical ships opening Venice's Regata Storica, a highlight of the Venetian calendar.PHOTO: ISTOCK.COM


Historians believe that the Regata Storica (Historic Regatta), a highlight of the Venetian calendar, has been taking place in the city's Grand Canal since at least the mid-13th century.

For centuries, Venetians have gathered along the banks of the canal to cheer for the series of rowing races - the most famous and popular of which is the men's race in brightly coloured gondolas.

In the 16th century, a water parade was added to commemorate the welcome given to Caterina Cornaro, wife of the King of Cyprus, who renounced her throne in favour of Venice in 1489.

Now, dozens of ornately decorated barges carry the highest ranking city officials, dressed in elaborate period costume, up the Grand Canal for a spectacular procession, which recalls the splendour of the Venetian Republic.

When: Sept 3



Festival junkies looking for a new place to party should head to Oasis, a three-day festival featuring some of the world's best dubhouse and electro DJs, including Jackmaster and Modeselektor, who are among some of the headliners this year.

The festival takes place just 10km outside the city at The Source Marrakesh, a private resort which is dedicated to music, housing a recording studio, an open-air arena for concerts and a spa.

Organisers promise better sound and bigger dance floors this year, along with the return of the popular Wellness Lounge, with yoga and meditation sessions, as well as poolside hangouts, multiple bars, henna artists, live painting and a full schedule of DJs. The festivities start at around 4pm and last until sunrise.

When: Sept 15 to 17



The nine-night, 10-day celebration of Navratri - one of the most important Hindu festivals - takes different forms all over India, but is at its best in the Gujarati city of Vadodara.

Each night is devoted to one of the nine manifestations of the Goddess Durga, the divine mother, as well as a celebration of good triumphing over evil.

Millions of people travel to Vadodara for the festivities which include bazaars, processions, temple offerings and performances of traditional Garba dances.

When: Sept 21 to 30



A hot spot along the migratory path for mating and breeding Southern right whales, the bays around Hermanus in South Africa's Western Cape are routinely listed as one of the best whale-watching destinations in the world.

The whales are often found enjoying the waters around Hermanus, particularly Walker Bay, from June to November, when they come to mate and calve.

To celebrate, the town holds the annual Hermanus Whale Festival in September and visitors come from around the Western Cape area.

Events include an orchid show, music performances, mountain biking races, a show of over 250 vintage and classic cars dating from the 1920s through to the 1980s, carnival games and rides for kids and a Marine Eco Village, where scientists, marine biologists and volunteers educate visitors about marine life and eco-systems.

When: Sept 29 to Oct 1


Lydia Vasko

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 27, 2017, with the headline 'Calendar of festivals'. Print Edition | Subscribe