17 March

Dublin, Ireland (right)

Next Tuesday true Dubliners will forget all about Lent and celebrate St Patrick's Day with plenty of stout and songs - then spend the rest of the year feeling guilty about it. Almost 500,000 are expected to join the customary parade through the city centre which will be led by Boyzone star Ronan Keating. This year the parade will be based on the theme of magic, and will feature a variety of witches, warlocks, trolls and fire- eaters. If you want to join the raucous festivities but can't make it to Dublin, try Manchester; where the third Irish Festival is now being held. For more information call 0161 234 1943. But if you can't make it to either Dublin or Manchester, try your local Irish theme pub.

21-28 March

Chamonix, France

The Snowrider Eco-Sports Festival is dedicated to the environment and teaching snowriders how to be more responsible eco-tourists. The event is open to all-comers, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to participating environmental pressure groups, such as Surfers Against Sewage. Along with a chance for some snow action on the Alps in one of the many competitions, there will be opportunities to enlist in some worthwhile river clean-ups and glacier eco-expeditions. Transport to the festival can be booked through Campus Travel (0171 730 3402) from just pounds 89 return.

Until 1 June

Vienna, Austria

The new spring exhibition at the Kunstforum Bank Austria, entitled "From Monet to Picasso," presents one of the most important private collections of classical modern art. It covers virtually every movement in 20th century art, including Fauvism, Cubism, Constructivism, Surrealism and Pop Art. Among the artists whose works are represented are Cezanne, Degas, Mir, Matisse, Munch and Beckman.

Melbourne, Australia

The Melbourne "Food & Wine Festival" is an annual event celebrating the exquisite local produce, world-class wines and superb restaurants of Melbourne. Highlights include "The World's Longest Lunch" (26 March), where more than 800 people will sit down to enjoy a three-course meal at a kilometre long table in the Fitzroy Gardens. Those whose palates crave something a little more cultured will prefer the "Epicure Masterclass" at Melbourne's Grand Hyatt (21-22 March).

Gareth Lloyd

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