The Colours of Spring
What better way to bid adieu to the gloom and doom of winter than to celebrate the colours of spring with pomp and vigour!
All around the world, people from various cultures let their creativity flow through unique festivals and traditions. Some of these festivals date back to thousands of years while others are relatively new; bringing fun and frolic to the countries that they are predominant in.
Even if you are a big fan of snow, spring with all its festivities is hard to ignore! So here’s to longer days, get-togethers with hot cups of tea and warm samosas and flowers blooming away in the backyard. Sit tight as we take you through the many traditions welcoming spring in all its glory.
Holi Festival in India
Holi, commonly known as the festival of colours is a Hindu tradition celebrated in India and in some parts of Nepal. The festival begins during the first full moon of March when people light bonfires to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. The day after the full moon is marked by coloured water and powder thrown at anyone and everyone unabashedly! This marks the arrival of the spring and the renewal of old friendships; the only rule, don’t leave anyone colour-free!
Think Easter bunnies, jelly beans, coloured eggs and lots and lots of chocolate! Easter Sunday is the culmination of Holy Week and the commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter traditions vary geographically; some celebrate it by hanging decorated eggs on trees, others head to flower-filled churches to sing hymns and rhymes and then there are of course sumptuous brunches to look forward to! Chocolate, games and music, could spring be any better?
Nowruz is celebrated on the first day spring; signifying the first day of a new year in the Persian calendar. Not exactly a religious festival, Nowruz is a universal celebration of new beginnings. Nowruz is typically celebrated in Iran, Tehran, Tajikistan, Northern areas of Pakistan and some parts of Azerbaijan. Families utilize this time to deep clean their homes, make them warm spaces for friends and family and promote peace and solidarity within families and generations. A symbolic spring meal called Haft seen is also prepared in honour of the festival. On the 13th day, families celebrate with an outdoor picnic to counter the bad luck associated with the number 13. This is one festival targeting bad vibes and superstitions!
Hanami is also commonly known as the Cherry Blossom Festival, it is a Japanese tradition to welcome the spring and appreciate the beauty of sakura; a Japanese term for cherry blossoms. The special cherry blossom trees start blooming in April with ravishing pink flowers and Japan becomes almost magical. Locals lay down picnics under the trees and make the most of the time. Looking for tips on how to do Hanami expertly? Grab a ticket to Japan, head out to the nearest park and enjoy the view!
Thailand in mid-April is all about water wars! The three-day Songkran festival is linked to the Thai New Year and is the perfect time to clean, reflect and pay respect to friends, families and neighbours. During the festival, people bring food to local monks and bathe Buddha statues in water. While previously, the festival involved younger Thais pouring scented water over the hands of their elders for luck and prosperity; over the years it has evolved to include massive water fights! If you don’t mind being soaked from head to toe, Thailand is the place to head to!
Top Reads in Spring
Here are our staff picks for the best reads in Spring!
Winter’s Child by Angela McAllister
Spring by Ali Smith
Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
Instant Expert: World Religions by Joanne O'Brien
Our Digital Library
British Council Library members have exclusive access to unrivalled digital resources! This month, why not take a look at all the ebooks and audiobooks available to download on RBdigital?
Use your library membership to log in and search the database.
Did you enjoy this article? Why not read: Friday Five: Spring is coming!
Featured Image: Carp (Koi) Windsocks