Autumn's here, but before the days start getting shorter and the weather gets colder, there's still plenty of time to fit in some festival fun. Whatever you're in the mood for, from shovelling down shellfish at the Galway Oyster Festival to soaking up the culture at the Dublin Theatre Festival, our list of September events will have something for you.

Blackpool Illuminations (3rd September Â- 9th November)


Blackpool Illuminations, EnglandFar from being a simple seaside attraction, the Blackpool Illuminations are a spectacular event which has taken place each year since 1879, even before Thomas Edison patented the light bulb! On the 3rd September, over 1,000,000 bulbs will be switched on, including more than 100 miles of lights strung between the promenade and the carriageway, and 40 giant illuminated tableaux. This dazzling display of neon, lasers and fibre optics is served up with Blackpool's usual helping of comedy, music, attractions and, of course, Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Blackpool also plays host to the World Fireworks Championships (10th - 12th September), which will have visitors 'oohing' and 'aahing' over three nights of the finest pyrotechnic displays in the world.

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Dublin Festival Season


September is festival time in Dublin, and the city comes alive with music, theatre, dance and more.

Dublin Fringe Festival (11th-26th September)
Cutting-edge creatives from Ireland and beyond present a no-holds-barred programme of theatre, art, dance and music, taking place anywhere from theatres and studios to parks and even street corners.

Dublin Theatre Festival (23rd September - 10th October)
Dublin Theatre Festival, IrelandTaking place since 1957, the Dublin Theatre Festival is the oldest festival of its kind in Europe, and Ireland's premier cultural event. Hosting productions by major international artists as well as up-and-coming, home-grown talent, the extensive line-up of drama, comedy and music is sure to provide something for everyone, with a programme including Samuel Beckett's Endgame, Euripides' Phaedra and Lucy Prebble's award-winning ENRON.

Dublin Culture Night (24th September)
Every year, scores of museums, galleries, studios and cinemas all over the city open their doors free of charge and late into the night, providing a pick and mix of cultural delights.

Also taking place in Dublin in September are the GAA All Ireland Finals, the highlight of Ireland's traditional sports calendar. Both the hurling (5th September) and the senior Gaelic football championships (19th September) take place at the hallowed grounds of Croke Park in Dublin city centre. The All-Ireland Senior Ladies' Football Championship is held a week later. Watching a hurling or Gaelic football match is a must for any visitor who wants to see something uniquely Irish.

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Galway Oyster Festival, Ireland

Galway Oyster Festival (23rd - 26th September)


On the other side of the country, on Ireland's west coast, the famous Galway oyster comes into season. From humble beginnings in 1954, Galway's unusual festival has grown to be one of the most prestigious events on the Irish social calendar. Aside from the opening and eating of oysters there are numerous other events and activities, including the Oyster Festival Parade, the Oyster Festival Gala Ball and the Oyster Pearl beauty pageant.

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Festes de la Mercé, Barcelona (23rd - 26th September)

Festes de la Mercé, Barcelona
Barcelona's main traditional event is also its largest street party. Lasting for 5 days, the programme includes the Correfoc, a procession of devils and dragons who set off fireworks and spray sparks into the crowds, the Castells, which sees teams of men competing to create the tallest human pyramid, and the parade of Giants, when elaborate effigies of kings, queens and nobles are marched through the city streets.

Read our guide to Summer Festivals in Spain.

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