Spring Festivities Around the World
Spring celebrations are to be found in communities across the world, with the new season being welcomed in some surprising and unusual ways. We take a look at Thailand and India’s springtime festivals, which transform the streets into a riot of celebratory colours.
The spring equinox at the end of March is the official start to the season, and the point at which those in the northern hemisphere can start to enjoy days longer than nights. In Mexico, people flock to a site of architectural heritage where an unusual phenomenon occurs. Read on to find out more!
Songkran is a three day celebration of what was traditionally Thai New Year, taking place between the 13th and 15th April. During Songkran, the Thai people prepare for the new year by cleaning their houses, visiting temples and reuniting with their families. They also wash themselves of misfortune – literally throwing water over each other during large street parties, where tourists are more than welcome to join in the festivities (as long as they are prepared for a drenching!). As April is generally Thailand’s hottest month, the water-fights are also a welcome respite from the humidity.
The Hindu festival of Holi is customary across northern India and marks the arrival of spring and the imminent spring harvest. Holi is celebrated joyfully, with Hindus of all ages dancing, singing and throwing coloured powders and water over their friends and family. The lively atmosphere of Holi imitates the playful nature of blue-skinned Hindu god Krishna. This year, Holi festival will take place on March 24th, with celebrations organised by Hindu communities around the world, including in cities across the UK.
The spring equinox (this year falling on the 20th March), is marked at sites of architectural heritage across the globe. In Mexico, locals and tourists visit the Mayan temple of Chichen Itza. Here the light of the morning and afternoon sun produce a snake-like shadow ascending and descending the stairs of the ruin’s central pyramid. Teotihuacan in Mexico City is an equally popular venue for welcoming the equinox. Many visitors dress in white and climb to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, believing that they will receive ‘special energy’ from the sun during the equinox.