National Grape Harvest Festival (Feb 28 – Mar 8, 2016 Mendoza, Argentina)
The origins of this festival go back to 1936, when it was agreed that the grape harvest should be a social event. Since then it has become the largest wine party in Argentina, with 40% of its visitors coming from outside of the country. By any reckoning the attendance numbers are quite large, so the importance of the event is beyond question. Hurry up to enjoy some good wine and experience the contest for Harvest Queen. The festival has just started.
Las Fallas (Mar 15 – 19, 2016 Valencia, Spain)
Las Fallas literally means “the fires” in the dialect of Valencia, and it dates back to the Middle Ages and refers to torching leftover winter supplies to make way for spring cleaning. Today it is more a celebration of Spanish culture and history, highlighted by extraordinary fireworks. Each year the Fallas Queen is selected, and people create huge paper mache, wood, or cardboard figures which are later burned. Some of them are so labor-intensive that they take a whole year to construct.
St. Patrick’s Day (March 17, 2016 Dublin, Ireland)
Dress green, walk alongside the parade, and perhaps drink beer – St. Patrick’s Day all around the world. What is the legend, why the green? St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. The celebrations have little connection to the actual Saint Patrick, who wasn’t very religious as a young man, at least not until he experienced being kidnapped into slavery and then, after seven years in captivity, heard the voice of God and became a believer. God’s voice told him to convert the Irish to Christianity. He supposedly banished the snakes from Ireland and, since the snake is considered a symbol of evil, its banishment represented the people’s need to abandon their former pagan habits. St. Patrick later used three-leafed shamrocks as a tool to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish.
Splashy Fen Music Festival (Mar 18 – 21, 2016, Underberg, South Africa)
It has now been more than twenty years since the festival became one of the major music events in South Africa. Traditional African music plays an important part in the festival. The event takes place over the long Easter weekend and is characterized by nonstop live music to welcome whole families. Accommodation is possible in a camp ground, which suits the character and style of the event.
Holi (March 24, 2016, India)
What a way to welcome the spring: an energizing, colorful, and overall happy festival that has attracted a large following around the world. While Holi is now celebrated all around the globe, the genuine atmosphere of the Indian celebration attracts people who travel long distances to visit India and experience the Holi festival on its native soil. Holi is traditionally celebrated on the day of the last full moon of the lunar month of Phalgun (varies from February to March) with particular celebrations in Mumbai, Delhi, Varanasi, and others. The origin of the festival is a reminder of the Hindu legend about the victory of good over evil.