March boasts five worldwide holidays outside of the expected ones

Allison Coyne, Photography & Art Editor

St. Patrick’s Day, Marti Gras, and International Women’s Day are all common holidays that occur throughout March in the U.S. Here are five unique global holidays that you could experience next year.

1. St. David’s Day To kick off the month, the country of Wales celebrates their only native-born patron saint, St. David, on March 1. He serves as a source of pride for the Welsh people. If you visit Wales during this celebration, you’ll be greeted with the white, green, and red flag of the country flying high. Daffodils and leeks are pinned to clothes and laid out as national emblems. The plants are a reference to the fields of leeks Welsh soldiers have fought in. Activities such as traditional parades, dragon performances, and the Ras Dewi Sant Marathon take place on the first. Dig into the popular desserts in the area such as Welsh cakes, a thick pancake, or bara brith, a fruit loaf.

2. Zhonghe Festival In China, many local communities spend the fourth of the month enjoying the Zhonghe, or Blue Dragon Festival. It is a day dedicated to the waking of the dragon that occurs on the first day of the second month of the Chinese New Year. Common rituals on this day include worship of the Lord of Soil, a full cleansing of homes, and a new haircut. Travel to towns that celebrate and try popular meals like dumplings, noodles, and spring onion pancakes.

3. Holi Known for five days of fun, Holi is a customary Hindu holiday that is recognized throughout the world, but mainly celebrated in India. It begins on the day after the last full moon of the Hindu month, Phalguna, and honors the story of Prahlada. Holi is referred to by many names such as The Festival of Love, Colors, and Spring. This year it began on March 18th and lasted through the 23rd. Experience Hindu culture with colored powders covering both the streets and the people, midnight bonfires, passionate worship, and feasts.

4. Nowruz On the 20th of March, Iranians will celebrate the New Year on the Spring Equinox. Many other countries also celebrate on this day. To prepare, those involved will clean their houses and go shopping the day before to get a fresh start to the year. The most memorable part of this holiday is known as Haft Seen. This is a traditional table setting for the night leading up to the new year. Decorations include both religious and cultural symbolic items. During the day, gifts are exchanged, and traditional games are played.

5. Freedom Day In the southern European island of Malta, the day of March 31st marks their day of independence. On this day in 1979, the last British troops left, and the country gained true freedom. To remember those who fought for their freedom, a remembrance ceremony is held. This massive event is held by the local police and armed forces and attended by the President and Prime Minister. A musical display is also held. If you experience Freedom Day, don’t miss the famous regatta. This popular rowboat race is the event of the season and crowds go wild to cheer on the racers.