September 2021

Traditional Celebrations

Occuring every 210 days based on the Balinese lunar calendar, Pagerwesi (1 September) celebrates Sang Yang, the creator of the universe, with grand ceremonies island-wide.

Mid-Autumn Festival (21 September) is celebrated in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam to signal the new harvest and worship the moon on the role it plays. Celebrations include eating moon cakes, carrying bright lanterns and watching lively dragon dances. To celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong (22 September) there are many interesting events taking place including Tai Hang fire dragon dance & lantern displays and carnivals. Tai Hang fire dragon dance consists of 300 performers, over 24,000 incense sticks per night, and a 67-metre dragon consisting of 32 sections whose head alone weighs 70 kg.

The Monkey God Festival (22 September) is mainly celebrated in Hong Kong, on the sixteenth day of the eighth lunar month. It is dedicated to the Monkey God who was thrown out of the Taoist Heaven for his mischievous deeds. The Monkey God is a popular character in East Asian stories and today people remember him by burning incense and making paper offerings during the festival.

Once a highly respected alchemist, Bo Bo Gyi is now revered as a nat, or a local spirit. On the eve of Bo Bo Gyi Spirit Festival (24 –30 September), pilgrims throw small packets of tea leaves at one another. According to local traditions, if you are hit by a tea packet, you must visit again the following year to pay respects.

The Qufu International Confucius Festival (26 September – 10 October) is held annually in Qufu, Shandong Province. It is marked by a grand ceremony worshipping Confucius, performances at the Temple of Confucius and Cemetery of Confucius, and occasionally a kung fu competition.

International Events

The Grand Sumo Tournament (12 – 26 September) takes place in Tokyo, Japan this month.

There are several intriguing events happening across China in September, including Zhangjiajie International Forest Festival and the Xian Ancient Culture Art Festival, which is held annually over the course of one week.

The Beijing 798 Art Festival is held annually at the end of September and takes place at Beijing's 798 Art Zone – one of China's main centres for cutting edge contemporary art located in the northeast of the city.

Traditional Thai-Laos Long-Boat Racing takes place in several cities across Thailand, including Bueng Kan, Pichit and Nan. During the festival, religious ceremonies are accompanied by cheering teams competing for H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's Cup.