The Best European Festivals for March and April 2013

By Griffin Smith

Starkbierzeit, Munich, March 1-17

Starkbierzeit roughly translates to strong beer time and is held to celebrate strong spring beers. Started when monks brewed extra strong beer to get extra nutrients during the fasts of Lent, this tradition continues today with breweries rolling out barrels of strong beer to serve during the two-week festival. Over the years Starkbierzeit has more than come to live up to its name.

St. Patrick’s Festival, Dublin, March 14-18

St. Patrick’s Festival, Dublin

St. Patrick’s Festival, Dublin (http://ow.ly/hYbYY)

A festival for celebrating Irish tradition and culture you shouldn’t miss the St. Patrick’s Festival if you traveling through Europe during March. Events are spread out over five days so there is always something to do or see like street theater, beer tastings, scavenger hunts, musical performances, or parades. Speaking of parades, the Festival Parade takes place on the 17th each year and is the highlight of the week.

Fallas, Valencia, March 15-19

Find your way to Valencia for this 5-day party that ends with a bang. Every year many papier-maché caricatures are created so that they can be paraded around the city and then stuffed with firecrackers and burned to the ground. But before these beautiful bonfires can be lit up, enjoy days filled with pageants and games while at night take in the parties and fireworks.

Holy Week, Multiple Cities, March 24-31

Holy Week

Holy Week http://ow.ly/hYcmt

For those looking to take a break from the partying offered by other festivals, the religious atmosphere during Holy Week might be a welcome break. Taking place the week before Easter and with events held in many major European cities including, Florence, Seville, Granada, and Rome. Even if you aren’t religious, it can be a welcome experience to watch the many processions and religious traditions that take place over the course of the week.

La Feria de Abril, Seville, April 16-21

La Feria de Abril is the spring fair of the Andalusian region and takes place in a large fairground in Seville. While many activities and items are that of the typical fair like greasy food, carnival rides, games, and dances, La Feria de Abril also offers a unique Andalusian flair with flamenco, parades with horse drawn carriages, and bullfighting.

La Diada de Sant Jordi, Barcelona, April 23

La Diada de Sant Jordi or Saint George’s Day in English, is a celebration in Barcelona that celebrates romance. Commonly associated with Valentine’s Day, lovers and friends exchange roses and books to show affection. This means that hundreds of stalls are set up in the city to sell these two high demand items. Besides spending time with loved ones people venture out to see book readings from authors, musical performances, and dances.

Koninginnedag, Amsterdam, April 30

Koninginnedag, Amsterdam

Koninginnedag, Amsterdam http://ow.ly/hYmYg

On Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) in Amsterdam everyone joins in the orange craze by wearing orange clothing and accessories to celebrate the royal family (The House of Orange) and Dutch culture. Starting the night before (Queen’s Night) this is one of the biggest street parties in the world with parties, music, and a huge street market.

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