✦ Spring around the World
Ask many people what their favourite season is and you’ll no doubt get a mixed bag of responses.
Some will opt for the warmth of the summer months, some veer towards the colder crisper times of winter.
Of course, it depends on where you live. Northern hemisphere seasons can offer up brutal winters contrasting with overbearing summers. Weather patterns in the southern reaches of the world have also become erratic of late as the impact of climate change becomes evidently apparent.
For many, however, spring is a firm favourite - the transition from winter to summer, almost a compromise of sorts. It is typically a time for rebirth and renewal, when the heavy winter clothes are ditched as temperatures increase and we glance towards warm-weather activities. Flowers bloom, baby animals are born, and people around the world celebrate the new season through a wide and varied range of festivals and traditions.
Arguably for those in Australia this year the onset of spring is even more eagerly anticipated than usual due to the gloomy months of lockdown brought upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To welcome spring this year, Brilliant-Online takes a look at how the season is celebrated and ushered in via some of the more unusual customs and traditions across various countries around the world.
Many thanks to Richard Shaw for his macro photos on insect life.
Photo Credit: Richard Shaw, richscapephotography.com
Explosion of joy and colour
India is renowned for its vibrant celebration of life through sounds, smells and colours and the Indian spring festival of love known as Holi has this in abundance. Communities all across the country convene to engage in giant parties with bonfires, music, food, dancing and merriment all under clouds of colourful powders that they mix with water and cover themselves with. It truly is an explosion of joy and colour to welcome in the new season!
It is very similar in Thailand during the Songkran festival, the country’s new year celebration that occurs shortly after the spring equinox. A week long celebration involves lots of eating, drinking, loud music, and firecrackers! It also signifies the end of the blisteringly hot weather and water is a key component. It is almost impossible to venture outdoors anywhere in the country during this time without getting wet and covered in coloured powders. It brings everyone together from local communities, to tourists, to resident Buddhist monks – it is absolutely a time to be happy and let loose!
A smashing time!
If one place tends to be universally linked to spring it is Japan. The season sees the blooming of cherry blossom trees that provide such a beautiful, colourful backdrop to some of the most populous and developed cities in the world, such as Tokyo and Osaka. In fact, the season has made Japan one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet from late March to early May as people flock to witness the splendour of nature for themselves and residents host parties under the trees, a tradition that has taken place for centuries.