Mango Beat: 5 Springtime Celebrations Around the World

originally published on Inquirer.net


Once the snow has melted and the world is in full bloom, it’s time to celebrate springtime-style for many countries across the world. But how does the world celebrate this time of rebirth? Here’ a list of some amazing seasonal events that are sure to give you a little more “spring” in your adventurer’s step.

Songkran Water Festival, Thailand
This annual event is celebrated a little after the spring equinox and is a sort of traditional “New Year’s Day.” Songkran is Sanskrit for “astrological passage” and is observed by throwing, splashing, and hosing water in certain places. Sometimes, elephants are even brought out to help with the splashing. So, when you want to celebrate this splashy holiday, make sure you wear an outfit you wouldn’t mind getting wet in!

Semana Santa, Mexico/Philippines
For countries with large Catholic populations, Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a very important celebration that often has specialized masses, big ceremonies, or even fireworks and parades (depending on the country). Often there will be religious imagery and solemn events; but it also coincides with Spring Break.

Las Fallas, Spain
Starting in the beginning of March, this Spanish holiday that reveres St. Joseph is all about dancing, eating, and fireworks on busy streets. The Fallas, giant puppets made of wood, paper-mache, and wax, are the main draws and the festival’s namesake. They are created by many different neighborhoods from across the country, often depicting satirized political or social images. These Fallasare no mere crafting project, however, and can be quite pricey to construct.

Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, England
This traditional celebration has contestants racing down the steep Cooper Hill in Gloucester as they all vie for the big prize of the day for the event: A circular slab of double Gloucester cheese. Said cheese is rolled down the slope and the competitors race after it. The first to reach the bottom is considered the winner. This century-old race is held during the UK’s Spring Bank Holiday.

Cherry Blossom-Watching, Japan
In the land of the rising sun, the cherry blossoms blooming and raining across the country is a symbol of the transition to springtime. During this time, workers, students, and families from all parts of the nation plan flower-watching parties (hanami) where picnics and even drinking are done on blankets underneath these ephemeral blossoms. The shower of soft pink petals is truly a sight worth enjoying.

Where will you be flying off to celebrate the springtime? The world is just full of fantastic seasonal holidays for you to discover and explore! Find your favorite spring fling and enjoy the blooming season your way!