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Festivals in Europe this March

26 February, 2009 15:36  EasyExpat EasyExpat

It’s still a bit chilly but that’s never stopped anyone from having fun. Here’s a roundup of the top festivals happening across Europe this March.

Banlieues Blues, Paris, France
6th March – 10th April

Banlieues Bleues is one of the biggest and brightest jazz festivals in Paris. An annual festival, it has developed in seventeen towns in the county of Seine-Saint-Denis, on the edge of Paris. It takes place in spring, lasts for five weeks, and hosts some sixty groups from all round the world. It is open to jazz and to blues, contemporary and world music too.

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Manchester Irish Festival, Manchester, England
6th March – 21st March

Music to parades, funfairs to Guinness, you’ll find it all at the Manchester Irish Festival. Don’t miss the St. Patricks’s parade on 15th March which is all set to break records for the number of people participating and floats set to appear.

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Las Fallas, Valencia, Spain
1st – 19th March

If loud, rowdy and fireworks sound like fun, Las Fallas is the festival for you.  Las Fallas literally means "the fires" in Valencian. The focus of the fiesta is the creation and destruction of ninots--huge cardboard, wood and plaster statues--that are placed at over 350 key intersections and parks around the city. The ninots are extremely lifelike and usually depict bawdy, satirical scenes and current events (lampooning corrupt politicians and Spanish celebrities is particularly popular). Artists work year round to build these as fire fodder. Bound to bring out the pyromaniac in you.

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Cheltenham Festival, England
10th -13th March

Here’s one for horse lovers and gamblers. Place a bet at one of the year’s most entertaining horse racing events. The 2009 Cheltenham Festival betting markets will be some of the richest in the sport. Punters from all over the world cumulatively bet millions on the Cheltenham Festival, and tens of thousands make the pilgrimage to Cheltenham to watch riders compete in some of National Hunt racing’s most exciting horse races.

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The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, London, England
29th March

The idea for the boat race started when two friends, one from Cambridge and the other from Oxford University decided to challenge each other to a boat race. Thus, was born a tradition in 1829 where the loser challenges the opposition to a rematch. The modern Boat Race has become a major international sporting event that attracts millions of viewers from across the world. Join in on the action at the 155th Boat Race.

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Spring Festival, Budapest, Hungary
20th March – 5th April

With over 200 events across 50 – 60 venues across Budapest, it’s hardly surprising that this is one of Hungary’s biggest cultural events. Highlights include concerts, chamber evenings, opera, folk music and dance, exhibitions and an International Theatre Festival.

Paris Film Festival, France
Date to be decided

Paris Film Festival is also known as Festival de Paris-Ile-de-France in France. It is one of the most visited festivals of Paris among the tourists. This film festival in Paris was originally dedicated to children in its initial years. Paris Film Festival first started in the year 1986. The present day competition in the film festival depends on films of every genre and focuses on new talents.

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Please note that there may be changes to the dates, events and line-ups at the festivals. For detailed information, check the official websites.

Sidd Lobo
Freelance writer


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