Our top 6 ideas in September

INLE LAKE

Inle Lake Pagoda festival, Burma

Set amidst the stilted villages of Inle Lake the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival is one of the largest Buddhist festivals in Burma. It falls during the months of September or October each year and is marked by villages competing in spectacular leg-rowing races. Inkle Lake becomes the focal point for pilgrims and tribal groups from all over Shan State. The highlight is the lakeside procession on the royal barge of 4 of the Buddha statues which are displayed in the Phaung Daw Oo Temple.

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Thimpu Tsechu, Bhutan

Join devotees at Bhutan’s Thimphu Tsechu for four days of ritual dancing and performances involving traditional costumes and terrifying demon masks.The famous Tashichho Dzong in Thimphu is the centrepiece for indigenous folk dances performed by both monks and common men with traditionally designed colourful masks.  They dance to the accompaniment of drums and cymbals. 

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sossuvlei

Sossusvlei, a Photographers Delight - Namibia

September is widely regarded as a wonderful month to visit the marvellous Ochre-red sand dunes which dominate Sossusvlei. This is primarily due to a wonderful golden light which offers fantastic photographic opportunities. Towering dunes, shimmering pans and an endless sea of sand, this is Sossusvlei. Sossusvlei means ‘the gathering place of water” though seldom will you find water here. Instead you’ll find the highest sand dunes in the world and perhaps Namibia’s most outstanding scenic attraction. These dunes, part of the Namib Desert, have developed over a period of many millions of years. The result of material flowing from the Orange River dumped into the Atlantic Ocean, carried northward and then returned again to land by the surf. Here the wind continuously shifts the sand further and further inland, reshaping pattens in warm tints that contrast vividly with the dazzling white surface of the large deflationary clay pans at their bases. Climbing up one of these dunes provides breathtaking views of the whole area, including Deadvlei, a large ghostly expanse of dried white clay punctuated by skeletons of ancient camelthorn trees, carbon dated between 500-600 years old. The best time to view Sossusvlei is close to sunrise and sunset when the dunes refract spectacular colours, ranging from burnt orange, red and deep mauve. These gigantic star-shaped mountains of sand are a prized destination for artists and photographers.

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Aranmula Boat Race

Aranmula Boat Race, Kerala

Kerala’s annual Aranmula Boat race is one of the countrys’ most popular events which takes place on the Pampa River. Taking place on the last day of the Onam harvest festival, the race attracts thousands of spectators cheering on the competitors.

Before the race has even begun, there are offerings and prayers to Lord Krishna at the Temple of Aranmula. The objective of the race however, is not to win but to keep up with the other boats and try and all finish at the same time. Each of the 30 boats taking part are laden with 100 oarsmen and 4 helmsmen on each boat, encouraged by singers on board each boat, singing a rhythm for the boats to maintain their pace. Colourfully decorated with sequinned parasols and drapes, the snake boats are over 30 metres long standing up in the shape of a scorpion’s tail at one end. There is a snake boat representing each of the village along the river Pampa. The race is an occasion to gather all the neighbouring village people together whilst combining friendship and sportsmanship in an exciting day 

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