Five global events to aim for this October

October 5-14

A fortnight of film in Turkey


Watch Jia Zhangke’s latest flirtation with martial arts, Ash is Purest White, Gaspar Noé’s French musical-slash-horror, Climax, or Coincoin and the Extra-Humans, from French iconoclast Bruno Dumont, at Istanbul’s hippest film festival. Expect to see the most celebrated films on the festival circuit so far, all in one place.

Istanbul, Turkey.

October 6-14

An American balloon festival


The sight of 750 hot air balloons dotted against an azure New Mexican sky will be an experience that visitors to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta will not forget in a hurry. The skies will continue to host balloon rides, races between the vessels, and a spectacular fireworks show.

Albuquerque, New Mexico.

October 26- November 4

Catalonia’s human towers


In a tradition that dates back to the 18th Century, Girona’s locals unite at the annual Sant Narcis festival to create soaring towers made up of those that are vertiginously-inclined. The human towers can stretch to around 50-feet high and are constructed by barefoot, scarlet-clad castellas (climbers), who sport faixa (sashes) around their waist for support. Last to scramble up the edifice is an enxaneta (rider), a small and plucky child that completes the picture. Elsewhere are an array of other visual pleasures, from a parade of giant papier mâché figures to the correfoc – a thrum of fire-throwers and drummers that beat a path through the city’s narrow streets.

Girona, Spain.

October 27-28

The coldest marathon on Earth


Forget London or Boston – at the Polar Circle Marathon, runners will pass glacier tongues and moraine landscapes atop the vast ice sheets of Greenland. There may not be as many cheers from the sidelines, but the race does promise 42 kilometres of breathtaking ice and Arctic tundra.

Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.

October 30-31

An Islamic economy summit


Which are the most promising halal sectors? What are barriers to growth? Will Dubai become a global hub for the Islamic economy? These questions and more will all be debated at The Global Islamic Economy Summit, which brings together world-class experts in critical industry sectors across geographies.

Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE.