Spring is the season of new beginnings. The season brings sunnier days, blooming flowers, and an awakening that almost feels as if the whole world is coming back to life.
You can take part in spring’s beauty through different celebrations and traditions from around the world. While many Americans kick off the new season by packing their suitcases and traveling to a warm destination, many international countries welcome spring through unique festivals and parades. While these celebrations might not look like your typical MTV spring break, they sure will put some pep in your step!
This famous Hindu festival sometimes called “the festival of love” is the most celebrated festival in India. The festival begins in the evening of the Purnima, also known as the Full Moon Day, and continues through the next day. In 2022, it will be celebrated on March 22nd. A bonfire is lit before the festival and the rest of the festival is spent throwing colored powder, which pays tribute to the hues of spring and events from Hindu mythology. The festival brings communities together and is an explosion of color and joy.
Songkran is a famous festival in Thailand that takes place from April 13th to the 15th every year. It is an important event on the Buddhist calendar and marks the beginning of the Thai New Year. The name Songkran comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “passing” or “approaching.” Songkran is two days of fun where people visit Buddhist monasteries, spend time with family and friends, and celebrate by throwing water on each other!
Nowruz, meaning “new day,” is celebrated on the first day of the first month of the Iranian calendar and marks the first day of spring. It’s celebrated across Central Asia and symbolizes new life, new beginnings, and the rebirth of nature. It promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations. While there are slight differences from country to country, Nowruz is a multi-day celebration of bonfires, costumes, and family gatherings. On the 13th day of the New Year, everybody gathers outside for music, dancing, and food in local public spaces. In 2022, Nowruz begins on Sunday, March 20th.
Cimburijada, also known as the “Festival of Scrambled Eggs,” is celebrated on the first day of spring in the Bosnian town of Zenica. Residents of Zenica gather at the banks of the Bosnian River and celebrate with a communal meal of scrambled eggs. People share their breakfast with friends and family while drinking and listening to music. With the first day of spring falling on Sunday, March 20th, there’s never been a better excuse for a Sunday morning brunch of scrambled eggs to celebrate Cimburijada!
Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake
Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake is an ancient tradition that welcomes spring. The annual event takes place at Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, England. To celebrate, a large wheel of cheese is tossed down Cooper’s Hill and competitors then chase after it. While this tradition is a slightly rougher celebration of spring, it has been upheld for over 200 years. There is no specific date when it occurs each year, but usually, the event falls towards the end of May.
Las Fallas, celebrated in Valencia, Spain, is a traditional celebration for the arrival of spring. Held annually from March 15th through March 19th. The celebration originated from an old carpenter’s tradition, where carpenters celebrated the arrival of spring by burning pieces of wood that they had used to prop up their lights during winter. Now, Las Fallas has evolved into a huge festival with music, costumes, and food. Las Fallas is best known for paper sculptures that are displayed and admired throughout the city, but on the final night of the celebration, they’re burned in a huge bonfire.
Spring Equinox in Teotihuacán
Spring Equinox is an annual festival that takes place around the 20th or 21st of March at the pre-Hispanic site of Teotihuacán, located just northeast of Mexico City. This archeological site has two pyramids- the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. Celebrants, traditionally dressed in red and white, climb to the top of the Pyramids to get closer to portals of energy. They raise their hands to the sky to welcome the new season and “soak up” fresh energy.
By Elliott Hodge, marketing & communications intern