Must-See Events in March

Music festivals, flower shows and grand parades not to be missed this month

Published: 02 March 2018

Charitable Cause

  • When: 9-10 March
  • Where: Sutera Harbour Marina Golf & Country Club, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Now into its 12th year, the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Fest is an annual not-for-profit jazz extravaganza organised by the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu and the Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The two-night event brings together talents from around the world, with a strong line-up of local and international performers. Slated to perform this year is American songstress Sybil Thomas, among others. Aside from music, there will also be food and drinks from some of the best restaurants in town, as well as a series of fringe events and a talent search held before the main festival. Proceeds from ticket sales will be used to fund deserving community projects in rural areas of Sabah.

Best of Ballet

  • When: 16-25 March
  • Where: Pentas 1, The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

After a rousing performance last year, the Singapore Dance Theatre returns to Malaysia with its highly anticipated Ballet Illuminations: Malaysia Tour. Contemporary Weekend on 16-18 March presents Rubies by George Balanchine, a sassy routine accompanied by a jazz-inflected piano capriccio, as well as two other shows, Sticks & Stones by Kinsun Chan and Symphony in Three Movements by Nils Christe. Tailored for families with young children is Peter & Blue’s Birthday Party on 21-22 March, an engaging production that tells the tale of Peter, his dog Blue and his cat Calico as they embark on a magical adventure. Classical Weekend on 23-25 March rounds off the tour with a treat for classical ballet lovers, featuring Coppelia Act III, The Nutcracker and Kitri’s Wedding from Don Quixote.

Glorious Gardens

  • When: 21-25 March
  • Where: Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens, Melbourne, Australia

Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show to catch the best in landscape design, gardening, floristry and horticulture from Australia and around the world. Lounge amid the blooms with a spot of tea, explore the Show Gardens and the Great Hall of Flowers, or shop for retail products and art pieces. The event is made livelier with exciting activities, from flower arrangement competitions to bridal shows, music and dance performances, food stalls and more. Participate in hands-on workshops with floral houses to learn tips on garden care and take your own floral arrangements home. Not to be missed is Gardens by Twilight, which sees the venue coming to life after sundown with lights and live music.

An Emerald Spectacle

  • When: 17 March
  • Where: Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom, countries with Irish diaspora
Credit: Tourism Ireland
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Held in honour of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish heritage, arts and culture. It typically involves public parades, traditional dance and music performances, marching bands, as well as the wearing of green attire or shamrock, a young sprig of clover often associated with Saint Patrick and used as a symbol of Ireland. Celebrations in Dublin, Belfast and major Irish cities are grand and last for several days, while places such as London, New York, Boston, and Montreal in Canada have equally vibrant festivities, which often include drinking alcohol in a carnival-esque atmosphere. Although the event is highly commercialised, its spiritual roots are still observed by a large number of people who attend church services on the day.

Blazing Ceremony

  • When: 1-4 March
  • Where: Saebyeol Oreum, Jeju City, South Korea 
Credit: Korea Tourism
Credit: Korea Tourism

On the first full moon of the lunar calendar, the Jeju Fire Festival is held to pray for good harvest and good health in the new year. The highlight of the event is a re-enactment of the tradition practised by farmers in the region – that of burning pastures to rid the land of pests and to allow for new grass to grow. However, instead of fields, locals and visitors put the torch to the 520-metre-high Saebyeol Oreum, a small extinct volcano. The festival is a good time to partake in cultural programmes and folk activities as there will be fireworks, laser shows, concerts, traditional craft-making, as well as food and drink vendors. Dates for the fire lighting ceremony may vary according to weather conditions.

A Legend Returns

  • When: 17 March 
  • Where: Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting 

10-time Grammy award-winning hit maker John Legend is set to serenade his Malaysian fans, as the singer returns to Malaysia for the third time as part of his Darkness and Light Tour. Legend's signature energetic performances and soulful tunes coupled with live piano on stage will be supported by a second keyboardist, a guitar and bass, three horns, a drummer, a percussionist and three backing vocalists, for a spectacular auditory and visual performance not to be missed. The setlist will remain a surprise, as Legend changes up the songs for each show, but expect to hear the title track of Darkness and Light, as well as lead single 'Love Me Now' along with some surprise covers, his breakout hit 'Used to Love U' and enduring smash hit 'All of Me'

Creative Weekend

  • When: 24-25 March
  • Where: APW, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur

RIUH, Klang Valley’s favourite weekend soiree, returns with a bang this March with a host of curated activities, creative workshops, showcase of eclectic homegrown brands and live acts, alongside local and international flavours to feast on. This time around, the event pays tribute to legendary Malaysian icon Tan Sri P.Ramlee and all things vintage. Check out the RIUH Kopitiam, Salon Retro RIUH and Bas Tak Sekolah, a mobile library with a twist. Female empowerment gets a well deserved homage in conjunction with International Women’s day, as RIUH highlights women in the arts, as well as social enterprises that help single moms and women in business. Also, prepare to be entertained by talented artists such as SKA Nusantara band Budak Nakal Hujung Simpang and gamelan ensemble Keretapi Sarong Joget Lambak.

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