As the cold weather begins to subside, revelers come out of hibernation for these unique March festivals. Whether you want a little peace and quiet or a month-long blowout, we've got you covered with this list of March's best festivals worldwide.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras: Australia
Australians do Mardi Gras a little differently. In Sydney, the gay and lesbian community runs the streets throughout the month of February with cabaret shows and parties. It all culminates on March 5th this year, with a massive parade and party. Between the costumes, floats and fun, nothing can rain on this unique parade.
South by Southwest: Austin, Texas, U.S.
Austin's successful, annual South by Southwest, otherwise known as SXSW, melds music, film and technology. Assisting in Austin's taking of the title "Live Music Capital of the World," the festival draws people come from across the globe primarily to discover new bands, but in recent years new media and movies as well.
Holi Festival: India
Holi festival, India
If you want to see India's true colors, now is the time to visit. The Holi festival is a celebration of good over evil, and is marked by people jovially running through the streets in India covered in colors -- from brightly colored water or powder thrown by onlookers, friends and family.
Every year around this time, the Japanese really let loose. Cherry blossoms have that effect on them. As soon as the first buds appear, locals head to the park for daytime picnics or moonlit soirees underneath the pink blooms.
Read on about hanami season in Tokyo.
Las Fallas: Valencia, Spain
Las Fallas, Valencia
Known as Europe's wildest spring party, Las Fallas is an annual sculpture and fireworks festival in Valencia. Thousands of dollars are invested in creating massive puppets which are built and erected all over the city by artists and volunteers. The real fun begins after they're planted, when you have four days to wander, take in the 350 sculptures and partake in endless parties. The festival culminates in an extremely impressive fireworks show right before all the sculptures go up in flames.
St. Patrick's Day: Worldwide
Get out your green and get ready to drink. While this holiday is of Irish descent, you don't have to be Irish or in Ireland to celebrate. Cities all over the world, including New York, Boston and Berlin, throw parades and drink all day in honor of the saint who drove out Ireland's snakes. To get a real feel for the holiday, head to its origin. While Dublin throws a mean St. Patty's celebration culminating in a famous parade, it's important to note that to the rest of the country this is actually a highly religious holiday, which will make it harder to find round-the-clock parties.
Nyepi Day: Bali, Indonesia
Nyepi Day, Bali
Nyepi Day, New Year's Day in Bali based on the Saka calendar, is an extremely religious day celebrated with silence. However, if you're looking for a good party, the day preceding Nyepi is full of celebrations as people push out the previous year and prepare for their day of quiet observance.
Grape Harvest Festival: Mendoza, Argentina
If you're a wino who likes to party, you must make an appearance at this one. This festival celebrates the beginning of the grape harvest season in Argentina's premier wine region of Mendoza. The celebration dates back to 1936 and includes a parade and crowning of a harvest queen.
Calle Ocho Festival: Miami, Florida, U.S.
Just because Carnival is over doesn't mean the Floridians stop partying; to close out Carnival, the folks of Miami throw one of the largest street parties in the world. Celebrating Latin American and Caribbean culture, the fest sees salsa and merengue performed along the 20 blocks spanning Calle Ocho, and you'll find ethnic foods on offer as you travel through Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.
Spring Equinox: Yucatan, Mexico
During the vernal equinox, Chichén Itzá's El Castillo pyramid is flooded with people who want to see a natural wonder meet a man-made one. On this day, the angle of sunlight produces the illusion that a stone serpent is slithering along the side of El Castillo's staircase, a marvel people travel the world to see.