5 Spring Festivals from Around the World3 min read
All around the world, spring is a symbol of rebirth. Temperatures are getting warmer and days are getting longer, making it the perfect time to celebrate.
Every culture has its own way of welcoming in the new season. Here are some spring traditions from across the globe.
1. Holi, India
Holi is arguably the most famous spring festival in the world. The Hindu holiday is celebrated across India and is symbolic of the triumph of good over evil.
On the night before, bonfires are lit to represent the burning of evil spirits—but the day of Holi is the main event. The “Festival of Colors” is a celebration of love and new beginnings. Participants flood the streets with colored powder, where they dance and rejoice. The date of Holi is decided according to the Hindu lunar calendar. In 2021, Holi took place on March 29.
2. Cherry Blossom Festival, Japan
Japan’s cherry blossom festivals, known as hanami, happen all throughout the country in March and April, but actual dates depend on the blooming schedule. The cherry blossom flowers only stick around for about two weeks, so those who want to observe the bloom need to act quickly.
Most participants pack a picnic and sake to enjoy under the cherry blossoms, but other events, like crafts or tea ceremonies, also take place.
3. Sechseläuten, Zurich, Switzerland
Sechseläuten is the perfect festival for those really ready to move past winter. It is held on the third Monday of April and symbolizes the beginning of spring and is marked by the burning of a Böögg – a snowman-like figure that represents winter.
The Swiss use the Böögg to predict the summer forecast. The faster the fire reaches the head (which is packed full of firecrackers), the nicer the summer weather will be. After the burning of the Böögg, people roast sausages over the embers and celebrate the new season.
4. Songkran, Thailand
Songkran is the celebration of the Thai New Year. The three-day event spans from April 13th to April 15th and is celebrated by throwing buckets of water at each other while partying in the streets. The water is meant to symbolize the washing away of sins to prepare for a new year.
The festival happens all across the country, but larger cities like Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Phuket will have bigger celebrations.
5. Las Fallas, València, Spain
Las Fallas begins on March 1st and runs until the 19th, featuring art, bonfires and parades. The festival celebrates Saint Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, with intricate giant puppets installed around the city.
On the last night of the festival, they’re set on fire in a series of bonfires and fireworks shows. Participants dance and eat in the streets as the fireworks go off.
Regardless of where you are (or where you’re going), participating in a spring festival is a great way to shed the old and welcome in the new.