Spring Celebrations Around the World
Spring is one of the most wonderful times of the year. Bursting out of a long winter, it signifies new life and rebirth. There are flowers in bloom, leaves are sprouting from trees, and birds are chirping along with other pleasant happenings. Different countries and cultures have colorful celebrations and special festivals that take place during the spring season. It may be more challenging to go on long travels these days but we can embark on a virtual journey with our learners and explore how people from all over the world celebrate during this season. Would your learner like to go on a spring adventure around the globe? We have covered some unique spring traditions from different countries.
- Hanami in Japan
Japan is well known for its cherry blossom or sakura festivals. Every year, many people of all ages flock to parks to appreciate the beautiful bursts of pink, a traditional custom called, “hanami” which means “flower viewing” in Japanese. Families and friends gather around under the trees to have a picnic and talk over delicious food and drinks while cherry blossom petals gently drift from the branches when the flowers are in full bloom. Now, that’s a sight to behold!
- Songkran in Thailand
Imagine what it’s like to have a kingdom-wide water fight for three days. That’s what Songkran, Thailand’s most famous festival is like. “Songkran” means passing or approaching in Sanskrit and the festival marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. Locals believe that water is spiritually purifying and it will cleanse them from bad luck and the grievances from the past year and will bless them with good fortune for the year ahead. Every year on April 13-15, crowds of people splash buckets of water or use water balloons and pistols to wet one another.
- Holi in India
One of the most colorful festivals all over the world, this Indian spring festival is also called the “festival of colours” or the “festival of love”. Holi marks the turn of the seasons and brings together communities for a huge celebration. People throw colored powder on each other called gulal to celebrate the colours of spring and the events of Hindu mythology. They also sing, dance, and eat delicious sweets and treats.
- Martenitsa in Bulgaria
In Bulgaria, people commemorate the coming of spring with red and white bracelets called martenitsa. Families and friends give each other martenitsas, sometimes with small dolls attached to it. They wear these around their wrists or on their clothes in anticipation of spring and as a symbol of health, strength, peace, fertility, and love. They only take it off once they see a first sign of spring such as a stork, a swallow, or the first bloom and then tie it around a fruit tree to give it health and luck. When spring is in full effect, these red and white bracelets adorn trees in gardens and parks across the country.
- Sinking Marzanna in Poland
Another unique way by which people welcome spring and bid winter goodbye is sinking marzanna in Poland. The marzanna is a doll made of straws made by villagers which symbolizes the Slavic goddess of winter, plague, and death. They carry out the doll in a parade on the streets and then drown the doll in the river to put an end to winter.
- Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek in Holland
Holland, a country known for its colorful tulip-covered fields, celebrates its biggest spring festival, the Bloemencorso van de Bollenstreek. The Flower Parade is the highlight of the event wherein elaborate floats made up of millions of flowers like tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils are shaped into different figures like ducks, chairs, and cars, depending on the theme of the year. This parade stretches for about 24 miles long and crowds look forward to watching this captivating display.
- Floriade in Australia
Being on the other side of the world, Australians await the onset of spring in September. Thousands of people visit Commonwealth Park in the capital city of Canberra as more than one million flowers fill the place. The festival is a month-long celebration with concerts, art exhibits, horticulture workshops, competitions like gnome-decorating, and other recreational activities.
- Easter Egg Roll in the White House
Every year, on Easter Monday, kids gather in Washington DC, USA to take part in the Easter egg roll competition. The White House Easter Egg Roll is a tradition that started in 1878 when a group of brave schoolchildren went to the White House lawn and asked to play egg-rolling games there. Lucky for them, former US President Rutherford B. Hayes allowed them and since then, the White House has sponsored these games with a grand garden party with a giant Easter bunny and other competitions like cookie and egg decorating.
The spring season is an important time of the year for many cultures around the world, as it signifies new beginnings – new life growing out of the ground after a long winter. Which of these festivals and celebrations would you like to experience? What other spring festivals do you find interesting?
We hope this short list will help you and your learner dive into an interesting inquiry and appreciation for different cultures. If you want to learn more about different celebrations all over the world, check out Ms. Silvia’s Social Studies class for 6-8 year olds for a fun educational adventure.
As a gift, we have prepared a special printable “passport” for your learner’s “travel notes” while they explore different countries. Simply download, print, and share the joys of Spring with your little ones.
Easter is also coming up soon and we invite you to join Ms. Featherstone in Easter Crafts and Activities for ages 8-10 years old. Play games, make egg-cellent cards, sock bunnies and many other fun crafts with your friends.
Can’t wait to see all the fun you and your learners have this Spring!
Northern Lights Academy Team