Travel Begins at 40 rounds up the best festivals in March 2020 across the Globe, from London to New Zealand, with cherry trees, loads of music, an English icon and even some frozen dead men. So make sure you join in all the fun in the first month of spring, or autumn, depending on where you fall.

Cultural Festivals in March

Frozen Dead Guys, Colorado, USA – 13 to 15 March
Frozen Dead Guy Days Rainbow c. Andrew Wyatt
Frozen Dead Guy Days Rainbow c. Andrew Wyatt

Come March, Nederland in Colorado hosts one of the quirkiest festivals in the US, if not the world. Frozen Dead Guy Days features dozens of live bands and such offbeat icy escapades. Almost certainly unique in their origins, the frosty festivities pay homage to the suspendedly animated Bredo Morstol, who resides in a shed on dry ice above the town. Apart from the music, the discerning ice-lover can also enjoy the slow-mo parade of hearses, coffin racing, frozen t-shirt contests, icy turkey bowling, human foosball – something akin to giant table football –, brain freeze contests, frozen dead poet slam, and a deathly silent disco.

Pasifika Festival, Auckland, New Zealand – 14 to 15 March
Pasifika Festival 2020 Auckland
Pasifika Festival, the largest festival celebrating South Pacific cultures. Photo:Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images

Auckland’s Pasifika Festival is the biggest festival to celebrate the cultures of the South Pacific. It attracts around 60,000 visitors, has more than 220 performing groups and in excess of 200 stalls selling food and crafts. The islands/nations present are: the Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, Tuvalu, Tonga, Tokelau and Solomon Islands. Each one has a ‘village’ with its own performance stage for dance, music workshops and theatre as well as a market with stallholders selling crafts and food.

Cherry Blossom Season Japan 2020 – 16 March to 20 April
Cherry blossom festival Japan
Cherry blossom festival – a highlight of a visit to Japan

Japan’s Cherry Blossom Season or sakura is one of the country’s top highlights every year when locals and visitors gather to admire the stunning, blooming cherry trees in parks and streets.The entire 3,000-km-long country turns topsy-turvy with lots of hanami or flower viewing picnics taking place underneath the spectacular cherry trees. This explosion of colour is a true national treasure and the pride of every Japanese. Estimates are that the 2020 cherry blossom season will commence on 19 March in Tokyo reaching full bloom by the end of the month, and in Kyoto on 1 April.

National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington DC, USA – 20 March to 12 April
National Cherry Blossom Festival
The Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington DC

Japan is not the only country with a cherry blossom festival in March. Anyone who has visited Washington DC during the spring will find it impossible to forget the sight of hundreds upon hundreds of delicate flowering cherry trees, looking like canopies of snowflakes, an event the US capital celebrates with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The Opening Ceremony for the 2020 festival takes place on 21 March, the Blossom Kite Festival is on 28 March, and the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade grand finale on 4 April.

Nowruz or Persian New Year, Various – March 21
Persian New Year
Even furry animals get a Nowruz spring cleaning in Iran, photo by Zahra Damirchi

Literally meaning “new day” – Nowruz or Persian New Year – remains an important festival in countries with ancient Persian cultures in many parts of the world. In all of Central Asia, and in Iran, Persian New Year is an important national holiday with people taking several days off. In the run-up to Persian New Year, people will do a major spring cleaning of their houses, buy new clothes and decorate their homes with beautiful objects and flowers. Persian New Year is the time when people feast on sumptuous meals, pay visits to homes, and exchange gifts.

Sporting Events in March

Oxford Cambridge Boat Race, London, UK – 29 March
Women also have their own university boat race

How about watching a sport that demonstrates strength and endurance as well as being a quintessentially English cultural icon? The Oxford Cambridge Boat Race runs from Putney to Mortlake in south west London around a long loop in the Thames. A quarter of a million spectators flock to the banks of the Thames to see this annual event. If you do not want to watch from the river bank there are big screens set up at Bishop’s Park in Fulham and in Furnivall Gardens in Hammersmith, with food and drinks sold at both locations. This year the races (men and women) will be held on Sunday 29 March. Its free to watch.

Religious Festivals in March
Holi Festival, India – 9 to 10 March
Hindu Festivals of India, Holi, Festivals in March
Holi Festival, India’s most vibrant and fun festival

Holi festival India 2020 is a riotous two-day Hindu celebration where crowds douse each other with colour and water – and is probably India’s most vibrant and fun festival. Holi sees family, friends and strangers come together to dance, laugh and feast, celebrating the triumph of good over evil and the arrival of the spring harvest season. Most often associated with getting drenched in water and throwing coloured powders or gulal at one another, Holi Festival actually consists of two parts: Holika Dahan and Rangwali Holi.

Music Festivals in March

Ultra Music Miami – 20 to 22 March
Ultra Music Miami : the place to be for Electronic Dance Music this March
Ultra Music Miami : the place to be for Electronic Dance Music this March

The Ultra Music Festival Miami is one of the biggest EDM (electronic dance music) parties in the world and it always kicks off the concert season with style in Florida. This year the headine acts include Flume, Major Lazer, Madeon, Gryffin and Laserface. Of the many DJs at the show David Guetta, Carlcox, Above & Beyond, Fisher, Eric Prydz and DJ Snake feature. A three-day ticket starts at $399.95.

Tallinn Music Week, Estonia – 25 to 28 March
Festivals in March Talinn Music Week
Talinn Music Week, photo by Mart Sepp

For one week in March Tallinn is transformed into one of Europe’s most eclectic contemporary music festivals – the Tallinn Music Week. Parallel to the music festival is a conference where speakers will debate all elements of the music industry, including its role in shaping our future society. Some 35,000 music and art lovers attend over the week with an additional 1,000 executives from the music industry looking for fresh talent. The centre-piece of the Week is the three-day music festival (25 to 28 March).

Ultra Music Miami – 20 to 22 March

The Ultra Music Festival Miami is one of the biggest EDM (electronic dance music) parties in the world and it always kicks off the concert season with style in Florida. Headine acts for Ultra Music Miami 2020 include Flume, Major Lazer, Madeon, Gryffin and Laserface. DJs include David Guetta, Carlcox, Above & Beyond, Fisher, Eric Prydz and DJ Snake. A three-day ticket starts at $399.95.

Lollapalooza Chile, (Lolla Chile) – 27 to 29 March
Lollapalooza Chile Festivals in March
Lollapalooza Chile

How about a alternative rock, punk, heavy metal and hip-hop concert at the foot of South America? Lollapalooza Chile would be just what you are looking for. Headliners for this year’s Lollapalooza Chile (Lolla Chile) include Guns n’ Roses, Travis Scott, The Strokes, Lana Del Rey, Gwen Stefani, Vampire Weekend and Rita Ora, as well as many Chilean headlining local bands. The organisers expect more than 200,000 people will visit O’Higgins Park. In addition to music, there will be displays of visual art, and green initiatives to make the festival more sustainable.

Winter Golden Eagle Festival, Mongolia – 3 to 5 March, and Temeenii Bayar (Camel Festival), Mongolia – 6 to 7 March


More Festivals in March 2020

For a full list of March festivals around the World, visit our Events and Festival page.

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