Different countries, different traditions – it’s the same when it comes to welcome the first day of spring.
In polish culture we celebrate 21 March with some distance.Traditional drowning of Marzanna – effigy symbolizing Slavic goodness of winter and death is mainly part of school activities for kids. A bit older people are waiting for the first flowers such as snowdrops or crocuses and first warm rays of the sun. It’s a moment when green color fills our hearts while we’re changing winter coats and thick sweaters into airy and light clothes. Is spring in different countries perceived as a season of bloom and overwhelming joy? We picked some countries to check it out.
First we took a country far off from Poland, but associated with beautiful cherry blossom. Japanese have their own tradition – HANAMI. It’s about watching blooming flowers. Flowers symbolize life and beauty, but the beauty, which is short-lived.
For Canadians spring is enchanted into tulips. In May there’s Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa. It’s the biggest event of this kind in the world and it gathers tourists from all over the world. 18 days full of colors, warmth and infecting joy!
Spanish people are famous for their temperament. Their spring tradition – Falles – is also known as a day of fire. It takes place between 15th-19th March in Valencia. It includes enormous fireworks and giant effigies located in a whole city, but it’s just a part of attractions which you can take part in. For sure the biggest show is la Mascleta – very popular fireworks at 2pm. A dozen or so of re-enactment groups are fighting for the best show and audience.
HOLI spring festival heralds end of winter and new season approaching. In Europe HOLI is also known as a Festival of Colours. How does look like the tradition from its home country? One of the most important moments of HOLI fest is burning a fire called HOLIK. People dance around while bypassing the fire three times. It has to symbolize victory of good over evil. Next day is official start of the celebrations. That’s the time when a race takes place with people covering up with colorful powders and pouring themselves with water. Joyful atmosphere and cheerful music is a great complement for this very special festival.
Swiss people are saying goodbye to winter with… burning a snowman! Moment of Sechseläuten holiday (also known as Böögg) is a start of the blooming of first flowers. For reaching more spectacular effects, inside of the snowman is filled out with explosives and the process of burning it predicts the weather for upcoming months.
Despite the fact that Norway is not the warmest place on Earth and it’s more perceived as a Scandinavian land of snow, it wouldn’t be fair not to mention their traditions of welcoming spring. Norwegian habits are quite unique. It’s all about farewell with “warm long johns”. This local event takes place on 17th May on the Femund Lake, when its ice melts. This is the first signal for symbolic change of clothes. In this day neighbors treat each other with PANNEKAKER MED MULTER – delicious cloudberry pancake.
Spring arrives here just 1st March. Starting from this day, Bulgarians are gifting themselves white-red rags made of yarn. It can be braids, dolls, tassels and many more. Red color stands for blood and life, white – happiness and purity. This tradition is known as Martenica, and its cores reach back to 681.
Spring is a great time when everything goes back to life from a winter sleep! In every country it’s celebrated with a great enthusiasm and hope for sunny, charming days. We hope the winter aura won’t be back any time soon and high spirit come to us for long!