Music, food, nature – these are just a few of the best festivals in March around the world.
Festivals aren’t just for summer. March ends with winter and mild temperatures, making it an ideal time to travel.
Spice up your routine by checking out one or two of these unique festivals.
Make plans ahead of time because some events have limited tickets.
March festivals around the world
Take a look at the best March celebrations on this year’s festival calendar.
1. St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Ireland
12-17 March, Dublin, Ireland
Get your best green outfit ready for the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin. This five-day event celebrates Irish culture, music, food and entertainment.
Wrap up the party on St. Paddy’s Day with a massive street carnival on March 17th. You’ll find parades, vendors, and a live music and fun scene on O’Connell Street and across central Dublin.
You will find celebrations all over Ireland, not just in the capital. So no matter where you land, you can raise a cup to honor Ireland’s patron saint. This is one of the best festivals in March around the world.
2. SXSW Festival, USA
March 11-20, Austin, Texas
South by Southwest is a popular festival in Austin, Texas, every March. This media festival features a large number of film, music and comedy events.
but that is not all. SXSW also hosts art panels, speakers, and exhibits. So you have a good chance of rubbing elbows with the rich, famous and businessmen.
Of course, Austin is also known for its outstanding food and drink. Everything is bigger in Texas – and that includes roast beef and margaritas!
Travelers of all ages and interests can find something to enjoy at SXSW. I had a great time at SXSW, you can see my cost guide to SXSW here.
3. Winter Festival Narvik, Norway
March 18-27, Narvik, Norway
In the land of the midnight sun and a lightless winter, Norwegians take pride in creating infrastructure in this arctic region.
Narvik Winter dates back to World War II, and celebrates the Ofoten Iron Ore Railway that provided prosperity and materials for the country.
The Narvik Winter Festival hosts over 200 music, culture, art, theater and dance programs for 50,000 visitors annually. So pack warm flannel shirts, black clothes, and hats while the kids dress up in whimsical costumes.
4. Food and Fun Festival, Iceland
March 4-8, Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland’s Food and Fun Festival brings chefs from Iceland, continental Europe and the Americas together for a one-week competition. Chefs work with local restaurants to prepare delicious cuisine at affordable prices.
This festival is not as common on the streets of Reykjavik as other food festivals. Instead, all events, tastings, and demonstrations take place at established or pop-up restaurants across the city.
You will find cutting edge culinary experiences, unusual and unique wines and spirits, and locally sourced ingredients.
Meanwhile, the Food and Fun Festival showcases Iceland’s stunning landscapes and outdoor adventures throughout the year.
Read more: Why does everyone love Iceland?
How to take a road trip in Iceland
5. Holi Festival, India and Nepal
March 19, India and Nepal
Many people recognize the festival of Holi because of its colorful, vibrant performances and its message of unity. Every year, Indians come together and shed their daily differences. Men and women mingle and, observing the mantra, “follow no rules and enjoy as much as you want.”
Holi festival is not only one of the most important festivals in March, but also one of the most important in India.
The festival begins as a quiet morning and escalates into a colorful bomb party by mid afternoon. Holi festival is characterized by laughter and smiles. People forget their real lives and deceive their friends and family.
6. Cape Town Jazz Festival, South Africa
March 29-30, Cape Town, South Africa
For over twenty years, the Cape Town Jazz Festival has attracted nearly 40,000 people each year to its five main venues. It features music by dozens of musicians from all over the world, such as South Africa, UK, USA and India.
The performers play jazz, R&B, jazz fusion, afro fusion, rap, gospel, drums and percussion, Latin jazz, with major titles such as Chaka Khan. Additionally, you can find intimate performances from individual artists to major theaters with 20-piece troupes.
Enjoy the area before and after the two-day jazz festival. Cape Town has great art and culture, restaurants, bars and outdoor activities.
7. Mendoza Grape Harvest Festival, Argentina
February 28 – March 6, Mendoza, Argentina
The Mendoza Grape Harvest Festival dates back to 1936, and celebrates the region’s vineyards and winemakers. Harvesting is carried out throughout the province of Mendoza. You can find events such as “Blessing of the Harvest,” parades, theater, fireworks, and live music in the downtown area. Over 40,000 revelers attend Grape Harvest each year to participate in activities and tastings of wine influenced by growers around the world.
8. Spring Equinox Festival, Chichen Itza, Mexico
From 20 to 21 March, Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico
The ancient Maya civilizations of Mexico kept accurate records of stellar phenomena, especially solstices and equinoxes. The pyramid of Kukulkan, a serpent deity, was built to align with the light and shadows of the twice-yearly equinox.
As the sun sets at the equinox, the shadows resemble a snake and beckon Kukulcán for a bountiful harvest season to come.
When celebrating this wonderful celebration, bring comfortable shoes, sunscreen, water and a hat or hat. Even in March, the Yucatan River can be very warm and humid.
9. Starkbierzeit Festival, Germany
March 15 – April 6, Munich, Germany
Love Oktoberfest but can’t wait for fall?
Check out Munich, Germany’s Starkbierzeit, strong beer festival in March every year for your guidance. Starkbierzeit is remembered for 21 days centuries ago when residents relied on strong beer to help them pass weeks of fasting during Lent. Local breweries such as Paulaner am Nockherberg serve beer with an alcohol content of at least 7.5%.
Events take place all over Munich in breweries, beer halls and restaurants, most notably Löwenbräukeller or Nockherberg Paulaner brewery.
10. Kaku Pagoda Festival, Shan State, Myanmar
March 10-12, Shan State, Myanmar
Are you ready for something more spiritual?
The Kakku Pagoda is held in March every year to celebrate the end of the harvest season for the Pa-Oh people.
The area around the pagoda transforms into pop-up shops offering handcrafted goods such as toys, textiles and locally grown produce. A portion of the revenue is donated to the temple.
The event is immersed in local culture, religion and art, honoring this archaeological site with food and traditional dance performances. Locals make food offerings for the monks and pay tribute to the faith.
11. Las Fallas Festival
Is there anything more dazzling than standing around a fire, watching the flames sway and swallowing what they feed? Now imagine it on an epic level, as in Valencia, Spain, at the Las Fallas Festival. Artists spend a year building 20-foot-tall statues knowing that their inevitable and intended artwork is to be set ablaze in front of thousands of festival-goers in the name of celebration.
Las Fallas Festival is definitely one of the best festivals in the world for you to visit.
Attending the festivals in March is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the culture and the mild weather. Longer days with more light make the March festivals the perfect time to travel and try something new.