Spring Festivals All Over

Let’s look at spring, which is celebrated by every culture and everyone (especially after a long, hard winter). In some cultures it’s a celebration of the new season, while in others it’s a celebration of the new year, the time that life springs anew (sorry). From the start of the Roman year (the ides of March) to the festival of Nawruz, the Persian new year, the spring equinox is celebrated in a number of ways:

http://www.schooloftheseasons.com/spring.html

It’s not just the colder climes and countries that observe the end of the winter. One of the most popular festivals celebrated in India, Holi is the season when “physiologically people in India, particularly in the north, rave for more sensuous and sensual pleasures with both sexes longing to mate!” I’m just quoting here:

http://www.indianmirror.com/festivals/fes2.html

The spring festival in Japan, “haru matsuri,” is usually centered on the planting of crops, with variations around the country, praying to the gods for a bountiful harvest. One variation is “rissun,” when a male member of the family scatters roasted beans, ceremonially scattering demons out of the home:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/shinto /holydays/harumatsuri.shtml

Then there’s the full moon festivals of spring, the spiritual high point of the year for the Buddhists:

http://www.taracanada.com/MoonFestivalsofSpring.html

And finally, there’s Schmeckfest, the festival of tasting, a four-day festival in Freeman, South Dakota, celebrating the heritage and culture of Germans from Russia, specifically Russian Mennonites, from the 19th century:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schmeckfest

Copyright Eilis Flynn 2007

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