• Ines Han

Spring Festivals Around The World

Spring Festivals Around The World Spring is just around the corner!

It's not a great time to enjoy spring fairs and festivals but don’t let Covid-19 ruin all the fun! As you may have noticed, our second MM article is about international spring festivals. When we are free to travel around, check out these cool festivals that are happening around the world and enjoy all the spring vibe.

Holi, aka Festival of Colours, is celebrated on 28-29th March. It is to welcome the spring and celebrate the end of winter. A night before Holi, a bonfire is lit for a puja(or prayer) to burn away all the bad and evil which symbolizes the triumph of good over the bad. Holi is called the festival of colours because the main event, which is after the bonfire, is all about colours. People play with colours with their friends and families and in the evening they show love and respect to their close ones. People play with colours by throwing them at each other on the streets or at private celebrations. The colours each symbolize different things: Green is symbolic of rebirth and new beginnings. Blue is for Krishna, a Hindu god portrayed with blue skin. Red means marriage, matrimony, or fertility. And yellow is for auspicious occasions.

Hanami is the spring tradition of enjoying the blooming of cherry blossoms. It literally means "viewing flowers", but generally indicates cherry blossom viewing. The cherry blossom festival is usually held around late March to early April. During this short period, people head outside to welcome the spring and enjoy beautiful nature's beauty. They celebrate with street festivals, outdoor picnics, and parties that take place during both day and night under the trees which are decorated with lanterns and lights. Fun fact! Since cherry blossoms are beautiful but often last no more than two weeks, they symbolize the impermanence of beauty; cherry blossoms are often used in artworks to portray "nothing lasts forever".

Topienie Marzanny, also known as Drowning Marzanna, is a Polish ritual of an act of sending the winter away to prepare nature for a spring rebirth. Marzanna is the Polish incarnation of the old Slavic goddess of winter, plague, and death. People in villages make a puppet with straws and cloths, symbolizing Marzanna. The doll is carried out in a parade on the streets and then drowned in the river, sometimes also set on fire before throwing into the water. This ritual means the awakening of nature to life, thus the beginning of spring. This ritual takes place on the first calendar day of spring, March 21.

How about enjoying spring in fall? You will be wondering, what kind of contradiction is this? Well, Australia is on the other side of the globe, so you will need to wait for this spring festival. If you can hold on until fall, which is their spring, you will be able to enjoy one of the biggest spring festivals. Floriade is an annual month-long celebration of spring in Canberra, Australia’s capital. Floriade comes from the Latin word floriat, which means to design with flowers. There are over a million flowers on display at Floriade Canberra. You can also enjoy beautiful garden beds which have a specific theme every year, NightFest, gnome knoll, diverse activities, and great shows.

Songkran is Thailand’s most famous festival, which is a water festival that marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. Songkran comes from a phrase in the Sanskrit language that means “passage of the sun.” Songkran Festival takes place on April 13th-15th. In order not to bring bad luck into the New Year, it is a tradition that all houses are completely cleaned a day before the celebration. People celebrate by throwing water at each other, using water guns and buckets, splashing water on everyone. Appreciation of family is another important aspect of the festival, with many Thai people making their way to their hometowns to spend time with their families and relatives. People also visit Buddhist temples, where they bring offerings such as food and listen to monks as they preach.

Nauryz is a very important holiday for Kazakhs, which celebrates the arrival of spring and the renewal of nature, from March 21st. Nauryz means a new day and symbolizes goodness and wealth, happiness and love and friendship. People visit friends, families, and relatives, and offer well wishes to everyone around them. During Nauryz, past offenses are forgiven and everybody makes a wish to bring renewal in the New Year and leave all badness behind. Nauryz kozhe is a traditional dish that is very important during these days and a main symbol of Nauryz. It traditionally consists of 7 ingredients that symbolize 7 elements of life: meat, water, fat, salt, flour, milk, and cereals (rice, corn, or wheat).