As the cold weather begins to subside, the revelers come out of hibernation for these unique March festivals, and it isn’t just Mardi Gras they are celebrating. Whether you want a little peace and quiet or a month-long blowout, we’ve got you covered with this list of March’s best attractions worldwide.
Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras: Sydney, Australia
Australians do Mardi Gras a little differently. In Sydney, the gay and lesbian community runs the streets throughout the month of February with cabaret shows, parties, and the famed Sleaze Ball side event. It all culminates on the last day, March 1stof this year, with a massive parade. Between the costumes, floats, and fun, nothing can rain on this unique parade.
South by Southwest: Austin, TX
You might not think music and technology go hand in hand, but the very successful annual South by Southwest festival proves that they are quite the pair. Helping Austin garner the title of “live music capital of the world,” people come from across the globe to discover new bands by night and technological innovations by day.
If you want to see India’s true colors, now is the time to visit. This festival, a celebration of good over evil, is marked by Indian people jovially running through the streets covered in colors—not colorful clothing, but actually brightly colored water or powder that is thrown on by onlookers, friends, or themselves.
Las Fallas: Valencia, Spain
Known as Europe’s wildest Spring party, Las Fallas is an annual sculpture and firework festival that takes place in Valencia. Thousands of dollars are invested in creating massive puppets that are built and erected all over the city by artists and volunteers. The real fun begins after they are planted, when you have four days to wander, take in the 350 sculptures, and partake in the endless parties. The festival culminates in an extremely impressive fireworks show right before all the sculptures go up in flames.
Every year around this time, the Japanese people really let loose. Cherry blossoms have that affect on them. As soon as the first buds appear, locals head to the park for daytime picnics or moonlit soirees underneath the cherry blossoms.
St. Patrick’s Day: Worldwide
Celebrate Irish heritage
Get out your green and get ready to drink. While this holiday is of Irish descent, you don’t have to be Irish or in Ireland to celebrate. Cities all over the world, including New York, Boston, and Berlin, throw parades and drink all day in honor of the saint who drove out Ireland’s snakes. To get a real feel of the holiday, head to it’s origin. While Dublin throws a mean St. Patty’s day celebration culminating in a famous parade, it is important to note that to the rest of the country this is actually a highly religious holiday, which will make it harder to find round the clock parties.
Mendoza Grape Harvest Festival: Mendoza, Argentina
If you’re a wino who likes to party, you must make an appearance at this one. The Grape Harvest festival is a huge festival celebrating the beginning of the grape harvest season in Argentina’s premier wine region of Mendoza.
Mardi Gras/Carnival: Worldwide
Depending on where you are celebrating, the festival name changes but what remains the same across the globe is the enthusiasm with which it is celebrated. The festivities begin after Kings Day or Epiphany and end before Ash Wednesday, resulting in a month long carnival that culminates in Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday, which occurs on March 4th this year. The parties get wilder as Mardi Gras gets closer and consist of parades, drinking, live music, wild costumes, or lack thereof. For the best of this fest, visit Venice, Rio, or New Orleans.
While many cultures celebrate the New Year with a big party, the Balinese New Year is celebrated differently. Do not go expecting to ring in the new year blowing horns and throwing confetti. This extremely religious day that falls on the first new moon after mid-March is celebrated in silence amongst the Balinese people. However, if you are looking for a good party, the day preceding Nyepi is full of celebrations pushing out the year that has just past as they prepare for their day of silence.
Calle Ocho: Miami, FL
Just because Carnival is over doesn’t mean the Floridians stop partying; to close out Carnival, the folks of Miami throw one of the largest street parties in the world. Celebrating Latin American and Caribbean culture, salsa and merengue are performed along the 20 blocks spanning Calle Ocho and you will find ethnic foods offered as you travel through Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.
Spring Equinox: Yucatan, Mexico
During the vernal equinox, Chichén Itzá’s El Castillo pyramid is flooded with people who want to see a natural wonder meet a manmade one. On this day, the morning and afternoon sun produces an illusion of a serpent descending or ascending side of El Castillo’s staircase, a marvel that people travel the world to see.
– Maggie Parker