Yap Day, Micronesia, March 1
In search of warmer climates? Take a trip to Micronesia for Yap Day and see local islanders celebrate their rich cultural heritage and traditions. Witness colorful, narrative dance displays put on by grass skirt clad performers, see spear-throwing contests and basket-weaving races or catch a canoe-making demo.
Article: Yap Day Festival, Micronesia
Golden Shears Festival, 4 – 7 March
Venture down to New Zealand and sample the sheep shearing, herding and woolly arts at the Golden Shears Festival in Masterton, North Island. The world’s most prestigious sheep shearing event has been held in the town’s War Memorial Stadium each March since 1961.
Read: New Zealand: Locations
Hokitika Wildfoods Festival, 7 March
And if you’ve got a healthy appetite and a strong stomach, hop over to South Island for the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival. The main attraction of the event is food stalls offering items not normally consumed on a regular basis… deep fried eel, roasted possums or poached fish eyes anyone?
Holi – The Festival Of Colours, 9 – 10 March
Holi is a Hindu spring festival, originating from the Indian subcontinent, celebrated predominantly in India, but has also spread to other areas of Asia and parts of the Western world through the diaspora from the Indian subcontinent, also known as the “festival of colours” or the “festival of love”.
Calle Ocho Cuban Festival, Miami, March 15
Or, check out the Calle Ocho Cuban Festival in Miami and groove the day away with Latin beats. sizzling Cuban cuisine, and mojito fuelled salsa! The festival is one of the largest in the world, and over one million visitors attend the Calle Ocho event. It is a free street festival that showcases Pan-American culture.
Hounen Matsuri, 15 March
Hounen Matsuri festival is deeply rooted in Japanese folklore. It began as an appeal to the gods for a fruitful harvest. March 15th marks the beginning of spring, a time of rebirth and growth. On this day, locals dressed in Buddhist robes carry floats through the centre of town praying for a good harvest and childbirth.
Las Fallas Festival, Valencia, 15 -19 March
Meanwhile, emotions run high at Las Fallas Festival in Valencia, Spain – a riotous week of historical tradition and lively celebration mingled with street parades, music and fiery fun. Witness townsfolk fill the city streets displaying huge, mache effigies – or ‘Fallas’ – which are set alight by tearful beauty queens on the closing night.
Article: Festive Pyre: Las Fallas Festival
Saint Patrick’s Day, 17 March
Saint Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland. It is celebrated with aplomb the world over by the many Irish diaspora communities – with many drinks, festivities and parades!
Persian New Year, 20 March
Nowruz, also known as Iranian New Year’s Day or Persian New Year, is celebrated worldwide by various ethno-linguistic groups. Nowruz is the day of the vernal equinox, and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It marks the first day of the first month of the Iranian calendar.
Article: The Persian Empire
Spring Equinox, 21 March
In the northern hemisphere, the spring, or vernal equinox happens around March 21, when the sun moves north across the celestial equator. The autumnal equinox occurs around September 22nd, when the sun crosses the celestial equator going south.
The Reindeer Herder Festival, Salekhard, Russia, 28 March
The best time of year for the traveller to visit Salekhard is late March, in order to coincide with the Reindeer Herder festival. This takes place each year on the frozen river Ob by Salekhard, usually on the last weekend in March. Hundreds of Nenets travel from the surrounding taiga forest and tundra, in order to compete in reindeer sledge races and traditional activities such as reindeer lassoing.
Main image: St Patrick’s Day New York, Salon NYC, Flickr Creative Commons