Lonely Planet Writer

Spring has finally sprung and it's festival time all over the world

This weekend will mark the spring equinox, which will bring with it festivals around the world. As St Paddy’s Day celebrations continue in Ireland, the coming of spring will be marked with Holi in India, cherry blossom festivals and visits to ancient sites like Stonehenge and Chichen Itza.

The crowd waits for the start of the St Patrick's Day parade on the streets of Dublin.
The crowd waits for the start of the St Patrick’s Day parade on the streets of Dublin. Image by Niall Carson/PA Wire

While St Patrick’s Day has come and gone around the world, the festival continues until 20 March in Dublin. Many events will be held around the city each day, such as the Irish Craft Beer and Whiskey Village at RDS, the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival in Howth, walking tours, the Festival Céilí and many other celebrations. Paddy’s Day is an Irish festival to honour the country’s patron saint, but has grown into a holiday that is celebrated around the world.

Men throw holi powder on each other
Men throw holi powder on each other Image by Nitin Joshi via AP

Spring will officially start this weekend, with the vernal equinox marked on Sunday, 20 March. With the coming of spring, many celebrations will take place around the world. One of the most colourful celebrations is the Holi festival, celebrated by Hindus through much of India and other nations with Hindu populations. The celebration marks and end of winter and the victory of good over evil. During the festival of colours, people take to the streets to through bright powders on one another, creating a beautiful rainbow. This year, Holi is celebrated on 23 March, but celebrations have already begun in many areas of India and events will be held this weekend around the world.

Chichen Itza, Mexico.
Chichen Itza, Mexico. Image by Shubert Ciencia / CC BY 2.0

The spring equinox also draw travellers to ancient sites that mark the solar calendar. The Mayan site of Chichen Itza is a popular spot to celebrate, as each year at the spring and autumn equinox, the light appears to move like a serpent over the temple.  Stonehenge in the UK also draws in many people to see the sun rise at the ancient monument.

Cherry blossoms in Gucun Park.
Cherry blossoms in Gucun Park. Image by Kamal Zharif Kamaludin / CC BY-SA 2.0

The spring also brings beautiful cherry blossoms to cities around Asia. While many cities in Japan and China – and Washington in the US – will draw in travellers to see the beauty, Gucun Park in Shanghai will host thousands of people who come to its annual cherry blossom festival. The park is home to about 60 different types of cherry blossom trees and this year’s blooms are expected to be better than in previous years.