Our top 5 ideas in March

Holi Festival, India

One of India's most colourful and well known festivals, Holi takes place on the full moon in March. Each state celebrates in their own unique style but what unites the festival is the spirit of fun and joy at the arrival of spring. On the eve of Holi, called Chhoti, huge bonfires are lit to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Ash left from this bonfire is also considered sacred and people apply it to their foreheads. The next day is a blaze of colour with gulal and abeer filling the air and people pouring water over each other. Passers-by are doused in a heady mix of colours whilst singing, dancing and mouth-watering Indian specialties add to the carnival atmosphere.

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Cherry blossom

Cherry Blossom, Japan

Take part in one of Japan's most important festivals - Hanami. This is the held all over Japan and literally means "viewing flowers" and in this case Cherry Blossom in particular. This ritual dates back many thousands of years when it was said that the Japanese elite would write wonderful  poems inspired by the sight of these beautiful flowers. Japanese people see it as a time to enjoy outdoor picnics in the neighbourhood parks and gardens beneath the cherry (sakura) tree. Performing arts complement the pink hues and enjoying a traditional tea ceremony beneath a cherry tree is an experience not to be missed. Street vendors ply the parks with their delicious local delicacies whilst the evening sees colourful lanterns swaying in the gentle breeze.

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Semana Santa
Semana Santa

Semana Santa, Popayan, Colombia

The holy week of Easter “Semana Santa” is the most important Catholic religious festival in the whole of South America. Popayan, Colombia is the site for the most elaborate celebrations marked by week long processions and religious masses. This colonial town is renowned for having more churches than inhabitants and some play religious parts throughout the week .

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Nyepi Ball, Bali

Nyepi Day marks the Balinese New Year, not with fireworks and celebrations but with a “day of silence”.No traffic is allowed, not only cars but also people, have to remain in their own homes. Light is kept to a minimum or not at all, the radio or TV is turned down and no one works.  For a visitor, the days preceding Nyepi are the most colourful when all the temple statues are taken to the river in long and vibrant processions. Effigies from Balinese folklore are centrepiece to elaborate sunset carnivals accompanied by gamelan music

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Cape Town & the Winelands, Brilliant time to visit. 

Why not flock to Cape Town and the Western Cape in March and take advantage of the lovely weather, beautiful beaches, and many outdoor adventures to be had. With extremely pleasant temperatures it’s a fantastic time to walk up Table Mountain without getting hot and uncomfortable also there’s a limited chance of rain.  Also in March witness the Cape Argus Pick’n Pay Cycle Tour (the largest timed cycling race in the world) is, arguably, one of the biggest sporting events on the Cape Town Calendar. Over 38 000 cyclists, of all ages and fitness levels, compete in the 105km cycling route around the beautiful Cape Peninsula. This is one of the most scenic cycle tours in the world. Visiting the Cape winelands during March is also special treat, if you love hiking; spring is the ideal times to hike as temperatures are not too hot or cold. The Winelands also offer their annual Cape Winelands Film Festival (CWFF) which has significantly grown in size over recent years. Check out numerous features, documentaries and short films from over 35 countries, on a couple of hundreds screenings. 

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