Travel Begins at 40 rounds up the best festivals in March 2022 across the globe, from Wales to Colombia, with cherry trees, loads of Guinness 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

St David’s Day, Wales, UK – 1 March
St David’s Day
St David’s Day

The much neglected patron saint of the principality of Wales is celebrated on 1 March each year. St David’s Day commemorates the saint’s death on 1 March, 589, more than 1,400 years ago. However, it was not until the 18th century that the day was declared a national day in Wales. St David is the only UK patron Saint in the UK who was actually born in the country where he is held as a patron saint.

New Orleans Mardi Gras, New Orleans, USA – 1 March

New Orleans Mardi Gras

New Orleans Mardi Gras or ‘Fat Tuesday’ is one of the biggest parties in the USA. Processions and floats pass by, organised by krewes, many of which have been around for decades and have intriguing names like Bacchus, Endymion, or the Knights of Chaos. These floats may be visually stunning, or be aimed to make you laugh, or to satirise some human failing.

Olney Pancake Race, UK – 1 March 

Dating back to 932 and mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086, the town of Olney has run its annual pancake race since 1445 on Shrove Tuesday, the day before the beginning of Lent. According to the records, a local Olney woman ran out of her house, dressed in her apron and headscarf, tossing a pancake in a pan to prevent it from burning, as she had heard the church bell ring for the beginning of service.

St Patrick’s Day, Ireland and Global – 17 March

St Patrick

St Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is the day that all the Irish diaspora around the world celebrate the Patron Saint of Ireland. Expect plenty of green to be on display as well as gallons of Guinness to be consumed as the Celtic nation celebrates being Irish, with a dash of shamrock. The St Patrick’s Day Parade started in America not Ireland.

Frozen Dead Guys, Colorado, USA – 18 to 20 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.

Cherry Blossom Season Japan 2020 – 23 March to May
Japan Cherry Blossom Festival
Asian woman wearing japanese traditional kimono and cherry blossom in spring, 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.

National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington DC, USA – 20 March to 17 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 2022 festival takes place on 26 March, the Blossom Kite Festival is on 28 March, and the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on 9 April.

Nowruz or Persian New Year, Various – March 21
Persian New Year festivals in March
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.

Baranquilla Carnival, Colombia – 26 to 29 March
Carnaval, Colombia festivals in March

The sensational Barranquilla Carnival in Colombia is the world’s second biggest fiesta with magnificent street parades, traditional dancers, lots of local food and the South American country’s joyous cumbia music. This authentic Caribbean, because of its status as one of Colombia’s most important folkloric celebrations, Unesco added the Carnaval de Barranquilla to its list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Religious Festivals in March
Holi Festival, India – 17 to 18 March
Holi Festival 2022
Holi Festival 2022

Holi festival India 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.


More Festivals in March 2022

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