Welcome Spring with Open Hands!


Image by Adil via Pexels

As the winter chapters end, we Northern Hemispherians are eager to turn the page into spring. Dormant plants awake and hibernating animals sprout. This change in weather is no little feat and countries around the world welcome the new season with open arms and traditions for all. Here are the ways in which different countries celebrate spring.

Notorious for being represented by a bunny and colorful eggs, Easter is a Christian festival adopted by many families in the U.S.. Easter is celebrated to honor the resurrection of Jesus three days after his death. But what do eggs have to do with Jesus? At the end of Paschal vigil, the Saturday before Easter also known as Holy Saturday, Orthodox churches would distribute eggs blessed by the priests. The eggs were meant to symbolize a sealed tomb and when it was cracked that resembled Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  Easter is meant to celebrate new life and a joyful end to a fasting period. 

In India they make sure to give a warm welcome to spring and you can’t miss it. This festival of color is a boisterous celebration between families and exuberant crowds. Holi is a 2-day festival filled with rituals and laughter. The origins of Holi date back to a time when it was known as “Holika”. Holika was the sister of a devil who wanted his kingdom to worship him. But the devil’s own son didn’t like him and was a devotee to Lord Vishnu. So the devil tried to kill his son multiple times but due to his failure he hired his sister, Holika. Holika was immune to fire so she tricked the son into standing in a fire with her, but instead the son gained the immunity and Holika died. This is the reason that on day 1 many light a fire and place a representation of Holike in it to represent good over evil. Day 2 is an extension of good over evil celebrated by dousing other in colorful powder and spraying them with water. This explosion of joy and color is just the thing we need after a drab winter.

Water is also used in Thailand to celebrate the new year that starts shortly after the spring equinox. Songkran means passing in Sanskrit and is a vibrant and buoyant way to celebrate new beginnings and cleanse yourself of bad luck. CNN called it “the world’s biggest water fight.” People from all over the cities celebrate by throwing water at each other. Songkran is celebrated in April which is also the hottest month of the year in Thailand which makes this water fight a much needed relief from the intense heat. The festival takes place April 13-15 but can last longer. There is more to this celebration than just spraying water. Cleaning your house and clearing it of bad items is a common practice and is thought of as ridding the home of any terrible things that occurred in the house.  Bathing a Buddha statue is also typically performed at the end of a ceremony, but in respect you may only pour water over the body and torso, not the head.

No matter where you are or who you are there is always something to celebrate with a new season. People from all over the world would agree with the spirited words of Robin Williams “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Lets party!’”.