Interplanetary artMartians have their own art show at London’s Barbican Art Gallery through May 18.

Organizers have put together 150 works by more than 100 artists for the exhibition titled “Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art — Mission: To interpret and understand contemporary art.” The exhibit is designed to help Martians “understand this human art form.”

The exhibit treats the art works as though they were artifacts collected by Martian explorers and arranged from a Martian perspective. Organizers say the classification system is a parody on the way human anthropologists view other cultures.

The museum is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. On the first Thursday of the month, it’s open until 10 p.m. On these evenings, a series of “interplanetary” talks, performances and discussions are scheduled. Throughout the exhibit, films from “other planets” also are showing.

Find details at the Barbican Art Gallery's Web site.

Best BetsENGLAND: Londoners know a good gig when they see it. According to the BBC London, so many people attended the city’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2002 (more than 50,000) that organizers had to turn some away from Trafalgar Square where the parade ended. Since then, promoters have reckoned with the crowds so that everyone can enjoy the traditional Irish holiday. On Sunday, the colorful parade begins at noon in Hyde Park Corner and follows a route down Piccadilly to Regent Street, past Trafalgar Square and ending at Whitehall Place. In addition to the procession, a festival celebrating all things Irish — food, dance, music, crafts and culture — takes place on Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Covent Garden. Details at

IRELAND: Dublin kicks off the “official” holiday celebration Friday with its St. Patrick’s Day festival, which includes a fun fair, films, concerts, public art, guided tours, sports and Irish language and culture workshops. The big day is Monday when the official parade travels through the city center. Street theater companies, international marching bands and ceremonial groups will create colorful and lively interpretations of the parade’s theme, “Energy.” The procession is followed by an afternoon of Irish dance and music at a Céilí Mór (traditional dance) at Earlsfort Terrace. Details at

GERMANY: Frankfurt’s Dippemess opens Friday at the city’s fairgrounds on the Ratsweg. What began as a medieval market has expanded into the largest fair in the Rhein-Main area, with market stalls, food booths, games and 11 high-tech rides, including a PowerTower drop, roller coaster, water roller coaster, Ferris wheel and children’s rides. The fair, which continues through April 6, is open 2-11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday (closed Good Friday, March 21). Thursdays are family days, with rides at half price and discounts on food and shopping. See the Frankfurt Tourism Web site.

“Live for the Music” is the theme of this year’s music fair, the Musikmesse, which runs through Sunday at the Frankfurt fairgrounds. Look for the latest in instruments from acoustic guitars to synthesizers and enjoy workshops and musical events. The show runs 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets at the door cost 26 euros for adults, 7 euros for children 6 to 12. More details at the Musikmesse Web site.

SPAIN: Every night during Holy Week, which begins Sunday, people crowd the narrow streets of Seville to admire some of the most impressive pageants during the city’s Semana Santa. A tradition since the 13th century, today 58 organized processions of the Cofradías (brotherhoods or fraternities) make their way from their church to the cathedral and back at prescribed times and on set routes. Dressed in long tunics and conical hoods, they walk in penitence, some carrying wooden crosses. Costaleros (other fraternity members) accompany them, carrying floats with religious statues. The emotion is heightened by the sounds of drums, dirge-like marches and flamenco-style laments from the crowd. See Sevilla's tourism Web site.

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