The start of spring is different all around the world and is therefore celebrated differently. Let's take a look at how different cultures celebrate the start of spring.
In Thailand a few days after spring begins they have the Songkran Water Festival. The festival's festivities include going to montasaries, visiting elders, and throwing water. The word Songkran stems from the word Samkrānti which is all about transformation and change. Traditionally people would sprinkle a small amount of water on eachother bless and wash away sins but now the tradition also includes huge water fights.
In India a festival full of color kicks off spring. The festival Holi happens once a year at the beginning of spring for a full day and night. During the festival people throw colored powder made from traditional Ayurvedic healing herbs at each other. Throwing the vibrant colored powders represents spring and also goes back to Hindi mythology.
The tulip festival is one of the few spring traditions not rooted in religion. In May every year the canadian tulip festival happens in Ottawa. The festival is a symbol of friendship with the Netherlands, a sign of thanks for providing safe transport for the dutch royal family during World War II. During the festival tulips are everywhere along with music, performances, and food from all over the world.
Central Asia -
Nowruz translated from persian means “the new day” and is celebrated yearly on spring equinox which is the start of the Iranian calendar. During the multi-day celebration of Nowruz, people clean their houses and remember family members. The 13 day celebration hypes up and includes dancing, music, bonfires, and food.
Baba Marta is a celebration different from any other. On march first people give each other woven red and white figures called martenitsa. The people wear their martenitsa underneath their clothing until they see the first blooms of spring and once they see a bloom they hang them in trees to recognize the coming of spring. Baba Marta translates to Granny March and is who the bulgarian holiday celebrates.
As you can see the many spring traditions vary in many ways, but all welcome spring with open arms.
Story by Stella Coffey