Music, food, and nature – these are just a few of the best festivals in March around the world.
Festivals are not just for summer. March brings an end to winter and moderate temperatures, making it a perfect time to travel.
Spice up your routine by checking out one or two of these unique festivals.
Make plans early since some events have limited ticketing.
March festivals around the world
Take a look at the best March celebrations for your festival calendar this year.
1. St Patrick’s Day Festival, Ireland
March 12 – 17, Dublin, Ireland
Pack your best green fashion 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 17. You’ll find parades, vendors, live music stages, and fun on O’Connell Street and across the center of Dublin.
You will find festivities all over Ireland, not just in the capital city. So regardless of where you land, you can raise a glass to honour 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 renowned festival in Austin, Texas, each March. This media festival features a plethora of film, music, and comedy events.
But that’s not all. SXSW also hosts tech panels, speakers, and exhibitions. So you have a good chance of rubbing elbows with the rich, famous, and entrepreneurial.
Of course, Austin is also famous for its outstanding food and drink. Everything’s bigger in Texas — and that includes BBQ beef and margaritas!
3. Narvik Winter Festival, Norway
March 18 – 27, Narvik, Norway
In the land of the midnight sun and lightless winter, Norwegians pride themselves on creating infrastructure in this arctic terrain.
Dating back to World War II, the Narvik Winter celebrates the Ofoten iron-ore railroad that provided prosperity and materials to the country.
Narvik Winter Festival hosts over 200 music, culture, art, theater, and dance programs for 50,000 annual visitors. So pack your warmest flannel shirts, black clothes, and hats while children wear whimsical costumes.
4. Food and Fun Festival, Iceland
March 4 – 8, Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland’s Food and Fun Festival brings chefs from Iceland, mainland Europe, and the Americas together for a one-week competition. Chefs work with local restaurants to whip up gourmet cuisine at affordable prices.
This festival is not sprawled out in the streets of Reykjavik like other food festivals. Instead, all events, tastings, and demonstrations occur in established or pop-up restaurants around town.
You will find cutting-edge culinary experiments, unusual and unique wines and spirits, and locally sourced ingredients.
At the same time, the Food and Fun Festival showcases Iceland’s stunning landscape and year-round outdoor adventures.
READ MORE: Why Does Everyone Love Iceland?
5. Holi Festival, India & Nepal
March 19, India and Nepal
Many people recognize the Holi Festival for its vibrant colour displays and message of unity. Each year, Indians come together and wash away their differences for the day. Men and women intermingle, observing the mantra, ‘follow no norms and have as much fun as you want’.
Holi is not only one of the most important festivals in March, but also one of the top festivals in India.
The festival begins as a mellow morning and escalates into a color-bomb party by mid-afternoon. The Holi Festival is best characterized by laughter and smiles. People forget their real life and prank 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 major venues. It features music by dozens of musicians from around the world, like South Africa, the UK, USA, and India.
Performers play Jazz, R&B, Jazz fusion, Afro-fusion, rap, gospel, drumming and percussion, Latin jazz, with headliners like Chaka Khan. In addition, you can find intimate performances from solo artists to major stages with 20-piece bands.
Enjoy the area before and after the two-day Jazz Festival. Cape Town has exquisite art and culture, restaurants, bars, and outdoor activities.
7. Mendoza Grape Harvest Festival, Argentina
Feb 28 – March 6, Mendoza, Argentina
Dating back to 1936, the annual Mendoza Grape Harvest Festival celebrates the region’s vineyards and winemakers. The harvest occurs all over the Mendoza province. You can find events like “Blessing of the Harvest,” parades, theatre, fireworks, and live music in the downtown area. More than 40,000 revelers attend the Grape Harvest Festival each year to partake in the activities and taste wines influenced by growers worldwide.
8. Spring Equinox Festival, Chichen Itza, Mexico
March 20 – 21, Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico
The ancient Mayan civilizations in Mexico kept meticulous records of stellar phenomena, particularly solstices and equinoxes. The pyramid of Kukulcán, a serpent deity, was built to align with the light and shadows of the equinox twice a year.
As the sun sets on the equinox, the shadows resemble a snake and ask Kukulcán for an abundant upcoming harvest season.
When you observe this remarkable celebration, bring comfortable shoes, sun protection and water, and a cap or a hat. Even in March, the Yucatan can be pretty warm and humid.
9. Starkbierzeit Festival, Germany
March 15 – April 6, Munich, Germany
Love Oktoberfest but cannot wait until autumn?
Check out Munich, Germany’s Starkbierzeit, Strong Beer Festival in March each year to tide you over. The 21-day Starkbierzeit recalls centuries ago when residents depended on strong beers to help them make it through weeks of fasting during Lent. Local breweries like Paulaner am Nockherberg serve up beers with an alcohol content of at least 7.5%.
Events occur all over Munich in breweries, beer halls, and restaurants, most notably Löwenbräukeller or the Nockherberg Paulaner brewery.
10. Kakku Pagoda Festival, Shan State, Myanmar
March 10 – 12, Shan State, Myanmar
Ready for something a bit more spiritual?
The Kakku Pagoda Festival occurs each March to celebrate the end of the harvest season for the Pa-Oh people.
The area around the pagodas transforms into pop-up shops offering locally handcrafted goods like children’s toys and textiles and locally grown produce. A portion of the revenues is donated to the temple.
This event is immersed in local culture, religion, and art, paying homage to this archaeological site with food and traditional dance performances. Locals bring food offerings to the monks and pay tribute to the faith.
11. Las Fallas Festival
Is there anything more mesmerising than standing around a fire, watching the flames flicker and engulf what they’re fed? Now imagine that on an epic level, like in Valencia, Spain, at Las Fallas Festival. Artists spend a year building 20-foot statues, knowing that their artwork’s inevitable and intended end is to be set alight in front of thousands of festivalgoers in the name of celebration.
Las Fallas is definitely one of the best festivals in the world for you to check out.
Festivals in March
Attending festivals in March is an excellent opportunity to enjoy culture and temperate weather. Longer days with more light make March festivals the perfect time to travel and try something new.
READ NEXT: The Best Festivals in April