Across the Northern Hemisphere, March signals the end of winter for many countries; the Globe Guides team drop in on festivities marking this occasion in Canada, Lapland and Russia. After all that snow and ice, they dash across the planet in search of warmer climes in Costa Rica and Mexico before checking out two of March’s premier festivals in Spain and Micronesia.
Neil Gibson takes up residence in the western retreat of Montezuma on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. It’s a beautiful place, far from the tribulations of everyday life where people come to embrace an alternative lifestyle.
Meanwhile, Ian Wright makes his way to La Laguna San Ignacio in Baja California, Mexico, renowned as the best place in the region to see grey whales on their winter migration south from the Arctic. On a boat trip out he has the breathtaking experience of meeting some of these ‘friendlies’ – who are just as curious about us as we are about them.
Ian then journeys far north to Caribou, Canada to the curious Carnival celebrating the end of winter. He turns his hand to judging one of the strangest competitions around, the ‘ugly dog and Yap Day, Micronesia truck’ event before partaking in a bit of ‘computer bashing’ – surely one of the most satisfying pastimes ever invented!
Justine Shapiro joins the emotional festival of Fallas in Valencia, Spain. In a massive show of craftsmanship, music and parades people fill the streets with the ‘fallas’ models of people and things that they’d like to see the back of and based on historic tradition, culminating in the exciting closing night of ‘crema’ in which they are set alight by weeping beauty queens.
Meanwhile Megan McCormack visits Micronesia on ‘Yap Day’, started in the 1960s as a day of remembrance celebrating the islands traditions and dances.
Back in the thermals, Holly Morris journeys to Lapland, home to 60,000 Sami people, who have traditionally been reindeer herders. Here she tries to stay on her sled as she takes part in the World Reindeer Racing Championships.
This is nothing compared with what Ian finds himself doing at the Festival of the North in Russia; of all the myriad sports on offer here, he opts for the swimming event – in icey water dug out from under the snow!
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