Hello spring! Welcome, we’ve been waiting for you!
The spring equinox is a time for celebration for those in the northern hemisphere during the month of March. It’s a time to celebrate the end of dark, harsh winter days and look forward to the long, warm days of spring and summer. While the United States doesn’t have much in way of tradition when it comes to welcoming the new season, many other countries around the world have celebrations that go back centuries, or even thousands of years! While many around the world recognize this time as the start of their New Year, others celebrate the start of the season and everything it offers in a variety of interesting, and sometimes downright unusual, ways. Let’s take a look at 5 countries who know how to kick off the spring season.
Poland: Drowning of Marzanna
At the beginning of spring, the children of Poland will create dolls out of straw to represent Marzanna, the goddess of death and winter. They will then set the doll on fire and throw it in a river to cleanse themselves of the harshness of the past winter.
Spain: Las Fallas
In Spain they celebrate spring with Las Fallas, from March 15–19. Huge statues, called ninots, are displayed all around the city during the festival and on the last night they are all set on fire. Only one is spared, by popular vote, to then be displayed in a museum with past ninots.
Switzerland: The Sechselauten
Switzerland’s tradition is an obvious goodbye to winter by burning a snowman called the Böögg. This was their way of driving out winter and welcoming the warmth of spring. They also believed that the following summer’s weather could be predicted based on how quickly the Böögg burned. The faster the flames reached the top, the nicer that summer was predicted to be!
The people of Zenica, Bosnia have their own way of celebrating the start of the spring season. Cimburijada, aptly referred to as The Festival of Scrambled Eggs, takes place in the street where massive amounts of eggs are cooked and scrambled in giant pans, and everyone gathers around to eat them. The eggs symbolize the new life that comes with the start of the season.
Scotland: Whuppity Scoorie
Scotland’s tradition of Whuppity Scoorie is a bit of a mystery as the people aren’t really sure what the tradition represents or why it even began. On March 1st, a “wee bell” is rung and the children then run around the church swinging a paper ball on a string above their head. After which is the “scramble” when the children try to get coins that have been thrown on the ground.
There are some really interesting ways that countries around the world celebrate spring! You can find a list of these and 10 other fun traditions here.