As winter continues to make thermometers plummet and snow piles grow (at least here in New England), it’s hard not to look ahead to warmer weather. And while it doesn’t seem like it now, spring is just around the corner. Get ready to welcome the new season with some of these springtime traditions around the world.
A time of fresh starts, this Hindu tradition is celebrated every year at the end of the winter season in India. Celebration of the holiday typically consists of two parts, starting with the lighting of bonfires on Holi eve to symbolize the triumph of good over evil. Then, on the day itself, people take to the streets for the “Festival of Colors” where participants douse each other in brightly-hued powders and solutions.
Also known as “Crepe week” for its rich butter pancakes, Maslenitsa is a religious and folk holiday celebrated in Russia just before the Eastern Orthodox Lenten fast. A time of indulgence and wishing away the winter cold, the festival’s famous pancakes serve as a symbol for the sun and warmer times to come.
With festivities ranging from choral performances and parades to bonfires, this celebration of spring’s arrival takes many forms and varies from town to town in Sweden. To foster a spirit of community, it is traditionally the responsibility of local committees to plan Valborg celebrations.
Songkran festival, Southeast Asia
Traditionally coinciding with the New Year in many countries in Southeast Asia, the Songkran festival honors new beginnings. The most well-known festival tradition is the community-wide water fights that take place on the streets, symbolizing the washing away of bad energy.