Here Comes Holi: The Festival of Colors
Holi, India, 1st March

During Holi, Holika Dahan, or the festival of color, Hindus celebrate good harvests and the Earth's fertility by taking to the streets and smearing everyone with colored powders and water. It is lots of fun, but watch out - no-one is exempt!
Huge bonfires are made on the eve of the festival (to drive out Dhunda, a female demon, from participating villages), while the actual day is marked by loud processions, singing, dancing and traditional songs.
The celebrations pay tribute to Hindu god Krishna, and are associated with his love for Radha. The young Krishna would moan to his mother about how Radha was so fair and he was so dark. His mother advised him to apply color on Radha's face and see how her complexion changed. The celebrations still explore this idea.
If you're a visitor to the Holi celebrations, wear some old clothes! It's likely you'll get covered with colorful powders (gulal) and colored water - an interesting development on the theme of smearing gulal on friends' foreheads. While the aim of Holi is apparently to develop an increased appreciation of beauty and cultivate good taste, people get away with almost anything on this day - including squirting coloured water on passers-by!

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Book Festival, Jaarbeurs, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2nd – 5th March

Lovers of the written word head to Jaarbeurs, Utrecht for the annual Book Festival, 4 days of literary paradise! Visitors can browse through around a quarter of a million books, with sections covering everything from cookbooks to children's fiction.

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The Prodigy, Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, Australia, 3rd March

Electronic giants The Prodigy take a break from the Future Music Festival tour to play one night of their Invaders Must Die tour at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney. They are supported by the UK's Does It Offend You Yeah?

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Ironman New Zealand, Lake Taupo, Taupo, New Zealand, 6th March

All you puffy, muscled guys who think you have what it takes, this is the challenge of your life! Lake Taupo's season-opening Ironman Triathlon sees up to 1500 contestants battling for US$50,000 of prize money. Competitors swim 2.4 miles (3.86 km), cycle 180km (112 miles) and run 42km (26 miles) through a breathtaking landscape of hot springs, volcanoes and waterfalls.
Excellent organisation and overwhelming local support make the event a perennial favorite. The town is fully geared for an invasion and has come to expect about 20,000 visitors each year, doubling its population and creating a great party atmosphere. More than a week of warm-up events is followed by an awards ceremony on the day after the race and a party for all the volunteers.
Competitors are allowed up to 17 hours to complete the course, and the fastest time is under nine hours. Enter online if you're tough enough - entries close on 17 January in 2010 (or sooner if the maximum field of 1500 is reached). If you're taking part, the lake is the perfect place for a holiday once your exertions are over!

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Do Something Different Weekend, Barbican Centre, London, England, 6th-7th March

It’s about time don’t you think? As part of the East Festival, London's Barbican Centre puts on a multi-arts extravaganza with its annual Do Something Different Weekend. Eclectic in design and entertaining in intent, its varied performing-arts program inspires kids and adults alike to get creative.
Hosted in 2010 by the Dot Comedy's News Desk, visitors to this year's event can expect a fun-packed, intellectually stimulating weekend of theatre, dance, music, film, food, visual art and spoken word.
With so much on offer, activities take place in 4 specially designated areas (Move, Hear, Noise, Make and Play) according to their primary focus.

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Dubai Football 7s, The Sevens, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 11th-13th March

Join AC Milan, Arsenal, Olympiacos and other professional clubs, along with 3000 players and 300 amateur teams, at The Sevens for Dubai Football 7s. It's football like you've never seen it before say the organizers.
This festival of football brings together a massive cross-section of athletes, with Rush, Steve McManaman, Michael Thomas and a host of other stars lined up to play on the same pitches as eight-year-old wannabe footballers.
In addition to seeing the stars in action, there are competitions for various age groups and an amateur tournament, drawing both men and women players.

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Teddy Bear World, Rhein Main Hallen,  Wiesbaden, Germany, 13th-14th March

If you still sleep with your favourite teddy, visit this exhibition and trade show at Wiesbaden's Rhein Main Hallen, only 45 minutes from Frankfurt.
The event shows how bears are made and features collector items from the world-famous Steiff range.
You can also make your own furry friend Just the way you like it!

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Cumbre Tajín, Takilhsukut Theme Park, Papantla, Mexico, 17th-21 March

If you are in need of relaxation Mexico is the place to be in March. The annual Cumbre Tajín at the Takilhsukut Theme Park in Veracruz encompasses high culture, ecotourism, steam baths, music and anything related to nurturing the mind, body and spirit. Enjoy several days of non-stop entertainment, featuring singers, dancers and much more.
There are temazacal steam baths, healing and many alternative therapies to sort out the body, as well as knitting, pottery, masks, candle and breathing workshops to dip into.
All of this takes place in the area where the old Totonac people traditionally lived. Their allegiance to the earth and mysticism are important qualities that Cumbre Tajín seeks to recapture every year. Take time to visit the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of El Tajín too.

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Red Bull Crashed Ice, Old Quebec, Quebec City, Canada, 20th March

Extreme sport fans won't want to miss Red Bull Crashed Ice in the Old Quebec district. Participants from Canada and beyond strap on their skates to race along an icy outdoor track, complete with hairpin turns, hair-raising drops and death-defying jumps!
The race features a heady combination of hockey moves, downhill skiing and a high-velocity balancing act throughout the historic part of Quebec City, with up to 85,000 spectators cheering on the competitors.

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China International Clothing & Accessories Fair, New China International Exhibition Center, Beijing, China, 28th-31st March

Ladies, this one is for you! Also known as CHIC, this is Asia's biggest clothing exhibition. Industry professionals and fashionistas head to Beijing's New China International Exhibition Center to browse and buy silk dresses, leather handbags and other wardrobe-fillers. Daily fashion shows add to the entertainment.
The first two days are for Trade professionals only, however the public can visit the fair on the last two days.

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Maria Andreou
Co Publisher