Festivals and Events in February and March

Posted February 13, 2013 by Elica Sue in Calendar
Pingxi lantern festival

Flickr image by Sheng-fa Lin

February and March are not just a time for romance but also plenty of music festivals and traditional events  taking place all over the world. Here’s a glimpse of what you can see and do in February/March:

8-12 February: Sauti za Busara: Zanzibar, Tanzania

Possibly the biggest music festival in East Africa, Sauti za Busara is a mishmash of traditional music performances, art exhibitions, Pemban bullfights, traditional dhow boat races, local food stalls and street parade. Over 400 musicans from all over Africa will be taking the stage this year.

14 February: Valentine’s Day: Around the World

Love birds around the world celebrate the occasion with flowers, gift cards and romantic dinners – but in the town of Terni in Italy, where it all began, it’s truly a special occasion. Besides competitions and events, locals celebrate with a huge feast around the Basilica di San Valentino.

12-17 February: Pingxi Lantern Festival: Taiwan

Held in the town of Pingxi near Taipei, the festival is celebrated in fervor with colorful street parades, traditional dances and markets, culiminating with the release of lanterns into the air – a magical sight to behold. This tradition dates back to the Ching Dynasty, when lanterns signified safety.

17-21 February: Carnival: Around the World

The Catholic tradition of feasting several days prior to the begin- ning of Lent has spawned several internationally acclaimed festivals around the world. The most well known are the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana; and the masquerade in Venice, Italy.

18 February: Saidai-Ji Eyo: Japan

Aptly named the Naked Festival, Saidai-ji Eyō has to be one of the world’s quirkiest festivals. In the chilly weather, thousands of par- ticipants, wearing only loincloths, scramble fiercely for possession of the sacred shingi (wooden sticks). The event is held in the Saidai-ji Temple outside of Okayama.

21 February: Battle of the Oranges: Italy

Join the biggest food fight in Italy at Carnevale di Ivrea where the tradi- tion of throwing oranges is just part of the fun. What started out as the fight for freedom against the tyrants in the 1800s is now a messy but fun- filled festival. Participants, divided into nine combat teams, throw or- anges at each other for hours before celebrating with a street party.

Holi festival

Flickr image by Stefan Leijon

21 February: Holi Festival: India and Nepal

Surely the most colorful festival in the world, the Holi Festival or Phagwa is celebrated in gusto as people splash with rainbow colored powder on one another. It is a way to give thanks to the Almighty for good harvest – bonfires are also burnt to remind them of their faith.

15-19 March: Las Fallas: Spain

As one of Spain’s major festival, Las Fallas Festival involves the burning of massive paper sculp- tures in the city of Valencia. Orig- inally a pagan ritual to celebrate the arrival of Spring, the festival also includes traditional costume parades, firework displays and paella contests.

17 March: St. Patrick’s Day: Around the World

While St Patricks’ Day was originally a religious holiday
to commemorate the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, it is now celebrated with lots of eating, drinking and partying. In Dubin, party revelers converge in a heady mix of parade, carnival and fire- works from 16 to 19 March.

19 March: Starkbierzeit: Germany

Translated to mean ‘strong beer time’, Starkbierzeit is a beer festi- val held each year in Munich to rejoice the end of winter. At Pau- laner Keller, brewers parade their strongest ales, and the drinking doesn’t stop till the next morning. This is almost like Oktoberfest – without the crowds.


This article was originally published in WildJunket Magazine Issue 1 (Feb/Mar 2012).

What did we miss out? Let us know in the comments field!

About the Author

Elica Sue

Elica Sue is WildJunket's web editor and writer specializing in languages and student travel. Based in California, she grew up with an exposure to a menagerie of culture, language, and art, and is a student pursuing what she is most passionate about: writing, traveling, and learning languages. She blogs at Travelengua.

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