It may be autumn in Australia, but for the rest of the world, it’s springtime. And as we rake the leaves off our lawns and experience chilly winds, the rest of the world is putting away their winter coats and taking out their spring wardrobe.
When you hear the word Spring, the first thing that comes to mind is a new beginning. Whether it’s a new season of your favourite sport or a new start, every country has something fresh to celebrate in Spring. If you’ve ever wondered how some countries spend their April, then you’re in luck. We have put together this list that highlights some Springtime events everyone around the world celebrates.
Drowning of Marzanna [Poland]
The Polish have a unique way to celebrate the end of winter; they toss a doll in the river. The doll’s name is Marzanna. Marzanna is a Slavic goddess associated with winter’s death and rebirth. According to Slavic beliefs, Marzanna’s death at the end of winter signifies the rebirth of the Goddess Kostroma, who represents Spring.
The Drowning of Marzanna involves the people of Poland parading a straw doll, or Marzanna, around their town and towards a body of water. The dolls are then tossed into it, to symbolise the official end of winter.
While the Polish throw dolls into rivers to celebrate the end of winter, the Swiss tie a snowman to the stake and burn it.
The snowman, often filled with explosives is called the Böögg and depending on how it burns, will determine their summer weather. If it explodes within the first 6 to 10 minutes, their summer will be dry and sunny. If it explodes between 10 to 15 minutes, the summer will be a rainy one.
Bloemencorso Bollenstreek [The Netherlands]
While the Polish and the Swiss toss and burn symbols of their winter, the Dutch celebrate spring with a parade. But this isn’t your regular parade; the Bloemencorso Bollenstreek is a 12-hour parade that starts at Noordwijk and ends in Haarlem, with about six towns in between.
This Dutch tradition started just after World War II when everyone was in high spirits and wanted to party. The first parade consisted of a couple with flower garlands, flower lingers, and decorated trucks and handcarts with the local band preceding. Today, it is considered one of the largest parades in the world.
From Europe, let’s head down to East Asia where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Japanese people and tourists are using their days off to gather with friends, sit on the grass, and watch the trees.
Hanami is a Japanese term that means “flower viewing”. Cherry Blossom trees are in full bloom from the end of March to early May. This unique custom started during the Nara period. Initially, it was plum blossoms that were admired and it was called umemi. A lot of the older generation prefer this over the Sakura as it is more calm, compared to Hanami which often consists of outdoor parties under the Sakura trees where people can get a little noisy.
April may be different from our part of the world, but the fact remains that this month is a particular time of year for celebrations around the world. Give yourself the opportunity to experience these festivals yourself when you plan your trip to these countries. When you do, don’t forget to park your car with us here at Alpha Airport Parking for your convenience when you come back from your vacation.