Spring is almost upon us and people all over the world are beginning to celebrate. From Mardi Gras to Rio Carnival, March brings festivals and revelry everywhere you turn. Here we share a few of our favourite festivals that you just can’t afford to miss.

Rio Carnaval: 28th February – 4th March, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

Rio carnival

The most famous street parade in the world, Rio Carnaval is an assault on all the senses. During the week long, non-stop party enjoyed by over two million people, the streets of Rio come alive with music, colour, dancing and laughing. Dating back to 1723, the carnival is an explosion of samba and a celebration of all things Brazilian held in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday. There’s no denying it, the folks of Rio Carnaval sure know how to party. Image source

 Venice Carnevale: 14th Feb – 4th March, Venice, Italy

venice carnival

The tradition of Carnevale di Venezia dates all the way back to the 13th century when the mystery and anonymity of wearing a mask was celebrated in the run up to Ash Wednesday. Outlawed by the French in 1797, the carnival slowly made its way back throughout the 19th century until it was officially reintroduced in 1979. These days, people flock from all over the world to revel in the giant parties and street parades, with the elaborate masks and cloaks meaning that once a year, tourists and locals from all walks of life celebrate alongside another. Image source

Mardi Gras: 4th March, New Orleans, USA 

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday and refers to the practice of eating all of your fatty foods before the ritual fasting of lent begins. Although Mardi Gras is celebrated all over the world, New Orleans is surely THE place to head to party it up in style the day before Ash Wednesday. With elaborate costumes, impressive parades and a hell of an atmosphere, head to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras and you’re sure to find yourself welcoming lent like never before. Image source

 

 

 

 

Saint Patrick’s Day: 17th March, Ireland and N. Ireland

St Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick’s Day originally celebrates Saint Patrick (who lived 385-461) and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, but the holiday has evolved into a cultural appreciation for all things Irish. A public holiday across Ireland and Northern Ireland, the day is enjoyed all over the world with parades and celebrations, the wearing of green and the toting of shamrocks. Lent restrictions on food and alcohol are also lifted for the day, meaning that the holiday has traditionally become associated with decadent food and the enjoyment of alcohol. Image source

Holi festival: 17th March, India, Nepal and other Hindu regions

Holi

Also known as the Festival of Colours, Holi heralds the end of winter and the onset of spring (finally!). The celebrations start the night before with the lighting of the Holika bonfire where families and friends gather to sing and dance. The next morning, the chaos begins with a mass colour fight using dry powered paints and coloured waters. Everyone and anyone is a target – young or old, friend or stranger – and everyone joins in the good-natured revelry. The festival is all about laughter, silliness, breaking down boundaries, forgiving and forgetting. And of course, it looks beautiful. Image source

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