Along with the new season of spring comes a dazzling assortment of travel events, anniversaries and festivals – welcome to March 2014!
March 2014 – St Petersburg, Russia – 250th Anniversary of the State Hermitage
The historic city St. Petersburg celebrates a quarter of a century of superlative European art within the renowned State Hermitage museum. This cultural gem was founded by Catherine the Great in 1764 and has been open to the public since 1852. Today there are more than million items within its collection and 2014 sees the State Hermitage open a new wing, alongside an annual calendar of events, symposiums, galas and most importantly, exhibitions.
2 March 2014 – Hollywood, USA – 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz
I don’t know about you, but my Christmas is always made with the inclusion of the Wizard of Oz on TV. And this iconic film will be honoured at the 86th Academy Awards, aka Oscars, to the MGM movie, which itself was nominated for six awards in 1939. And FYI, the film did win 2 Oscars (Best Original Score and Best Song) but lost out to Gone with the Wind for Best Picture – tough year!
2 March 2014 – Britain - 75th Anniversary of the death of Howard Carter
We remember the great English Egyptologist Howard Carter this month, who shot to worldwide acclaim in 1922 after discovering the undisturbed tomb of pharaoh Tutankhamun which dates back to the 14th century.
3 March 2014 – Britain – National Climate Week
Between the 3rd and 9th March the UK marks the climate change campaign as part of the annual Climate Week. Over the seven days, a new wave of action will be highlighted, specifically to create a sustainable future via economical ways to travel and how to live in an environmentally friendly manner. Get involved with locals events via the official site.
4 March 2014 – Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday
Communities all across the world hold their last hurrah, before the onset of Lent – when gluttony and excess are forsaken for forty days. Before this date we see lively Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday, festivals and of course a multitude of carnivals, the most famous of which is undoubtedly the legendary Rio Carnival.
7 March 2014 – Sochi, Russia – Paralympic Games
Winter Olympics fever continues with the Paralympic Games in Sochi which run from the 7th to 16th of March. Forty five nations will compete in five events; alpine skiing, biathlon, cross country skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.
8 March 2014 – Paris, France – 40th Anniversary of the Charles de Gaulle Airport opening
It’s hard to believe that one of the busiest airports in the world is only 40 years old. 2014 marks the date that the Charles de Gaulle airport opened in 1974, and which now serves some 62 million passengers and half a million flights per year.
9 March 2014 – Klushino, Russia – 80th Anniversary of the birth of Yuri Gagarin
The Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin made history on 12 April 1961 as he became the first man to orbit the earth. Eighty years ago in 1934 he was born in the village of Klushino to the west of Moscow in Russia. He died in 1968.
11th March 2014 – Scotland – Scottish Tourism Week
All eyes are on Scotland in 2014, what with the Commonwealth Games landing in Glasgow in July and that referendum scheduled for September. And between the 11th and 13th of March, Scotland showcases their traditional culture and unique heritage via its Tourism Week. This coincides with the Homecoming campaign running throughout the year for what promises to be a packed calendar of festivals, events and parades.
14 March 2014 – East Africa – 150th Anniversary of the Discover of Lake Albert
This year marks the 150th anniversary the discovery of Lake Albert, which is located on the borders of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The legendary British explorer Samuel Baker was the first to discover the lake in 1864.
15 March 2014 – UK - National Ferry Fortnight
From the 15th to 29th March, the UK celebrates its Ferry Fortnight, which aims to highlight the sheer diversity of travel options open to the Brits. In fact there are some 50 sea routes to discover the world - minus flight delays and airport queues!
18 March 2014 – Mount Vesuvius, Italy – 70th Anniversary of the Last Eruption
At school we were taught of the ferocious eruption of mighty Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD which pulverised Pompeii and Herculaneum. And this year marks the seventieth anniversary of the last eruption of the world most famous volcano near Naples, in 1944.
21 March 2014 – 8th Anniversary of Twitter
As part of its eighth birthday Twitter is helping users to locate their first ever tweet – cue a few cringey faces! Often mocked as a platform for users to post selfies and tweet about what they had for breakfast, it’s also proved invaluable as a way to highlight serious issues and the ability to share relevant messages quickly. In fact 500 million tweets are sent every day from the 241 million active users. So find your #FirstTweet
21 March 2014 - Toropets, Russia - 175th Anniversary of the birth of Modest Mussorgsky
The Russian composer that established the romantic period within classical music was born on this day in 1839. Born in the town of Toropets in Tver Oblast, Mussorgsky penned many compositions, including many film scores. He dies in 1881 and his grave is within the Tikhvin Cemetery in Saint Petersburg.
22 March 2014 – International Day of the Seal
Today the focus shifts to the seal – found in many locations and a multitude of habitats, these enigmatic creatures none the less face many threats. The International Day of the Seal raises awareness of these issues, such as how pollution, over fishing and deforestation are impacting numbers.
22 March 2014 – World Water Day
This year’s World Water Day focuses on the theme of ‘water and energy’ with the celebrations kicking off in Tokyo, Japan. There are also local events being held across the world which educates communities on the facts about fresh water. More info.
23 March 2014 - World Meteorological Day
This day was established by the World Meteorological Organisation as part of its aim to raise awareness of global climate issues. Take time to focus on what you can do to help fight global warming by working out your own carbon footprint via a calculator.
26 March 2014 – London, UK - 175th Anniversary of the founding of the Henley Royal Regatta
Horse racing, croquet and river sports are quintessentially British pastimes and in 1839 the Henley Royal Regatta was formed. This lead to the annual rowing event of the Henley Royal Regatta upon the River Thames each summer – the first was held on 14th June 1839.
26 March 2014 – Britain – 80th Anniversary of the Driving Test
On this date in 1934 the driving test was introduced in Britain on a voluntary basis – this was swiftly upgraded to mandatory by June 1935!
29 March 2014 – Earth Hour
8.30pm – time to switch off the lights, shut down your mobile phone and turn off the TV. Enjoy the silence and reflect on the global climate change initiative from the WWF. Just don’t forget the candles!
29 March 2014 – Ireland – 10th Anniversary of the first smoking ban
Just a decade ago smokers could light up in bars, restaurants and workplaces, but all that changed on 2004 as Ireland became the very first country to ban smoking in all public places. Fats forward ten years and non-smoking cities are now the norm.
30 March 2014 – Toronto, Canada – 60th Anniversary of Canada’s first Subway system
London has ‘The Tube’, Paris has the ‘The Metro’ and on 30 March 1954 Canada opened its very first subway system. ‘The Subway’ opened in Toronto on this day, and is now known as the Yonge Subway.
30 March 2014 – Paris, France – 25Th Anniversary of the Louvre’s Glass Pyramid
Back in 1989 the addition of the now iconic glass pyramid entrance to the world-renowned Louvre caused quite a stir. Fast forward twenty five years and the glass structure is the internationally recognised symbol of one the world’s largest and most popular museums.
30 March 2014 – Tignes, France - 25th Anniversary of The Brits
The wintersports fraternity within France’s Rhône-Alpes region celebrates the twenty fifth anniversary of the annual music festival The Brits. Successfully fusing snowsports, world-famous DJs and partying, the week-long event (30 March to 5 April) has confirmed Tek One, Starsky, Sunset Sons and The Dominos on their lineup.
30 March 2014 - British Travel Week
We’re all used the staycation concept, and this is highlighted as part of the British Travel Week, which runs from 30th March to 6th April.
31 March 2014 – Paris, France - 125th Anniversary of the Eiffel Tower
Paris’ Champ de Mars in the 7th arrondissements is home to the world’s most iconic landmark – the mighty Eiffel Tower. Today marks the 125th anniversary of the official opening – a formidable fact considering that it was only given a permit to stand for twenty years! Opened in 1889 as the entrance of Paris’ World’s Fair, it proved controversial and sparked the famous Artists Protest. Standing at 1,063 feet (324 meters) tall and built by Gustave Eiffel, the tower ruled as the highest tallest structure in the world for more than 40 years, until New York’s Chrysler Building came along. And thankfully the Eiffel Tower was permitted to stay, thanks to its importance in both communications and meteorology.
Image credit; The Wizard of Oz via Wikimedia CC