Spring festival’s around the world
Spring season, with its boom and renewal, is celebrated all over the world in special festivals. Vibrant marches, special cakes, flowers of different colours, and strawberries, one of the most important symbols of spring, are all part of many of the events that characterise this period.
Holi Festival – India
This festival is one of the best known outside of India, and it is often known as the ‘festival of colours’. The religious origins of the festival are from the Hindu tradition and look at the story of the story of ‘Holika’. Today the festival is one of the most joyous and fun events, as the morning of the festival will see everyone joining in, with water guns and packets of coloured powder, which can be thrown at anyone, with everyone usually ending the day covered in the colourful mixture.
Floral Festival – Japan
Also known as Hana Matsuri, the Floral Festival is actually the memorial service performed at temples throughout Japan to celebrate Buddha’s birth on April 18. As a part of Japanese traditional culture, small buildings are adorned with flowers and a baby Buddha figurine (tanjobushu) is placed inside.
Las Fallas – Spain
The population Valencia, Spain, triples in size during the annual Fallas (or Falles) festival every March. Three million people turn up for a week of fiery, satirical entertainment. The week begins processions to honor Saint Joseph and ends with the incineration of ninots, the paper-mâché figurines stuffed with firecrackers.
Festival-goers often wear medieval clothing for the nonstop street party to welcome the spring season.
Songkran – Chiang Mai – Thailand
Songkran Festival, which is tied to the Thai New Year, occurs each year in mid-April for three days. It’s a time to clean, reflect, and pay respect to your neighbors, family, and the elderly.
During the festival, people bring food to local monks and bathe Buddha statues in water, while younger Thais pour scented water over the hands of their elders for luck and prosperity. Over the years, this tradition has evolved to include a massive water fight with water balloons and super soakers.
Tulip Time – Holland
Tulip festivals are held each spring in multiple cities around the world. One of the largest is in Holland—not the region in Europe, but the small town of Holland, Michigan.
Tulip Time is held in early May each year, and boasts over six million tulips and one million visitors. That works out to roughly 30 visitors and 180 tulips per Holland resident. It is one of the largest, and has been ranked as the best, small-town festival in America.
In a relatively new tradition, more than 400,000 flock to Australia’s capital, Canberra, for a massive flower festival each spring. When the season kicks off in September for the Southern Hemisphere, a month-long celebration begins.
More than one million blooms take over Canberra’s Commonwealth Park each year, offering a breathtaking display of spring color. The festival also includes concerts, art displays, horticultural workshops and other recreational activities.
Cherry Blossoms – Japan
Every spring, the Japanese gather with friends for picnics under the cherry blossom trees for one of the country’s most cherished traditions. To the Japanese, the cherry blossoms sudden arrival combined with their tremendous beauty and fleeting nature, symbolizes the transitional nature of life. Weather is forever finicky, so cherry blossom season reaches regions in Japan at different times. Predicting the arrival of cherry blossom season is a national affair — there’s even an app for it.
Sham el-Nessim – Egypt
A national holiday and folk festival in Egypt, the Sham el-Nessim has been observed for thousands of years as a day to smell the breezes and celebrate spring. Nessim means “zephyr,” the spring breeze, and sham means “to breathe in.” While the date is set by the Coptic calendar, the holiday is now a non-religious national holiday observed by everyone as a family affair.
Traditionally, people pack picnics to have outings along the Nile River or in parks. Certain food is specified for the occasion: the main dish is fessikh, a kind of salted fish, and it’s also traditional to have mouloukhiya (stuffed vine leaves) and eggs with decorated, colored shells. The foods are believed to prevent disease, and the eggs symbolize life. Vast numbers of fish are eaten in Cairo on Sham al-Nessim.
Prepared by : Leen El-Deek