If you’re itching to travel the world next month but haven’t quite decided on your ideal destination, perhaps these five exciting events can help you make up your mind. Jump on a plane and jet off to one of these exotic locations to attend some of the wildest festivals and most entertaining celebrations March has to offer.
St Patrick’s Day
Dublin, Ireland, March 14-17
It just wouldn’t be March without the fun and revelry of a St Patrick’s Day celebrations, and where better to mark the occasion than the green-clad streets and pubs in Dublin?
From Saturday to Tuesday this year, the entire city will come together in a festival with an unrivalled party atmosphere. There’s something for everyone during the four-day event, with comedy shows, parades, concerts, road races and the famous Irish Beer & Whiskey Festival.
Of course, your visit to Dublin needn’t just be about drinking. This vibrant Irish city offers many sights and experiences for travellers of every ilk. Enjoy a quiet afternoon in a castle, check out a local rugby match or trace the footsteps of classic musicians and writers. There truly is something for everyone in Dublin.
Valencia, Spain, March 12-19
Leave behind the Australian autumn and celebrate the arrival of spring in Europe at the Las Fallas festival in Spain. Essentially just a giant puppet show, this anarchic and thrilling event sees the streets come alight with pyrotechnics and fiestas.
The highlight of the festival is the Fallas, 20-foot tall papier-mache puppets, paraded through Valencia each day. Stick around for the closing ceremonies to see these impressive figures burn all across the city on Crema night.
While you’re in Valencia, take some time to check out the old silk market and the beautiful Columbus Market to get a sense of the gorgeous architecture that established this stunning city.
New Delhi, India, March 6-8
Holi is a unique spring festival that offers a fun and exciting experience you’ll struggle to match anywhere else in the world. Also known as the festival of colours, Holi involves playing with coloured powder – and throwing the dust at each other is not only encouraged, it’s essentially mandatory.
Bands of enthusiastic festival goers will move from house to house, in groups known as tolis, colouring even the shiest of attendees to ensure the entire city is taking part. Non-toxic colours are also handed out along with street food, drinks and other party essentials, promoting an atmosphere of total participation.
Step outside your New Delhi hotel during Holi and you can expect to return in a rainbow of colours. Enjoy feasts, dancing and street-parties while sporting a pink, blue, purple, green and yellow coating. This festival requires full participation, so remember to pack clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and get ready to have some fun.
Bali, Indonesia, March 20-21
After the frantic fun of Holi, consider jumping the ditch to Bali. While most New Year’s celebrations have wrapped up by this time, March 21 is the Hindu “Day of Silence”, held to commemorate the Balinese New Year.
Rather than organising a day of parties and festivities, the people of Bali celebrate as much as possible on March 20, then lock themselves inside on the 21st.
On this day, the island of Bali comes to a complete stand-still. Following bonfires, percussion and parties, you can enjoy 24 hours of silence and tranquillity. The public roads, beaches and stores are off-limits and even tourists are required to spend the day indoors, making as little noise as possible.
Remember to pack a good book and use this time to catch up on some much-needed rest. Then, once the day has passed, you can join thousands of peaceful Balinese on the beach, streets and shopping centres.
Pacific Rim Whale Festival
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Canada, March 14-22
For something a little bit different, Canada offers a festival like no other to welcome the migratory whales back into their waters. From March 14 to 22, the district of Tofino, on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, becomes the ideal place to learn about the massive and majestic creatures of the sea.
With education, fun and unique events suitable for the whole family, Tofino’s Pacific Rim Whale Festival is a great way to get your kids excited about nature – or simply satisfy your own desire to uncover the mysteries of the deep. Whale watching is a must, with around 20,000 migrating grey whales visible from the shore, air or sea.
Even after the great greys have put on their show, there is still plenty to see in the waters of western Vancouver Island, with orca, humpbacks and other incredible sea life making the Pacific Rim their home.
Whether you’re looking for a thrilling and fiery festival or prefer a quieter and more tranquil day in, March has something to suit everyone. Check out one of these events to experience the month like never before.