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Rituals Around the World
Spring Equinox Rituals Around the World
In the northern hemisphere the spring equinox happens around march 21, when the sun moves north across the celestial equator. It marks the beginning of spring in northern hemisphere. It is considered the start of New year in Assyrian calendar, Hindu and Persian calendars or Iranian calendars.
As spring surfaces to drive out the last gloomy traces of winter, you can finally start to look forward to sunnier days. It is part of the beauty of spring arrival that it is celebrated differently around the world. Every country welcomes the new season with a unique way, it would be a festival, parade, or a communal meal.
Below are some traditions of celebrating spring equinox around the world,
1. Nowruz – Central Asia
No means new and ruz means day so Nowruz means new day. It is celebrated as the first day of first month of Iranian calendar, coinciding with the spring equinox (usually around march 21st). This “new day” symbolizes new life, new beginnings, and the rebirth of nature. Celebration of Nowruz vary from country to country. It is a multi-day celebrating festival which starts with people cleaning their homes, old broken items are repaired, homes are repainted, and fresh flowers are gathered and displayed indoors but quickly escalates into a multi-day festival of bonfires, costumes, and family remembrance, until the 13th day of the New Year. On 13th day of new year. everybody leaves their homes and joins friends and family members outside for music, dancing, and food in the cities’ public spaces.
Nowruz is deeply rooted in the beliefs of Zoroastrianism, which was the predominant religion in ancient Persia before Islam came along.
2. Songkran Water Festival – Thailand
Songkran stems from the Sanskrit word for “astrological passage” and is celebrated within Thailand as New Year’s Day. This festival takes place shortly after the spring equinox. In this festival different activities like going to a Buddhist monastery, visiting elders, and, of course, throwing water are done. The northern capital of Chiang Mai is the setting for the biggest celebrations, with festivities lasting up to six days. Locals and tourists alike take to the streets, equipped with cannon-sized water guns, pressure hoses and buckets, ready to drench anyone in their path. Children, adults, and the elderly take part in the tradition, dancing in the streets to loud music.
3. White House Easter Egg Roll – USA
White House Easter Egg roll was started in 1814, it takes place on Easter Monday every year. It is a fun tradition on which children gather in Washington D.C. on the White House lawn to roll eggs across the grass with wooden spoons, competing to see who can cross the finish line first. Kids taking part in the competition can win Easter eggs and small prizes, so, with the promise of sweet treats fresh in their minds, morale is usually sky-high. These amazing and full of entertainment festivities are overlooked by the US President and their family as well as a giant Easter bunny.
4. Holi – Northern India
Holi is one of the most colorful festivals in the world and it is celebrated by Hindus across Northern India. In this festival colored powders are thrown to one another which pays tribute to the many hues of the spring season as well as events from Hindu mythology. It usually lasts a full day and night. The festival is a gloriously colorful and happy celebration of the end of winter and the spring growing season. It can, however, get quite crazy, so doing your homework before attending is advisable!
5. Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake – Gloucester, England
On Cooper’s Hill, second bank holiday weekend of every new year the Gloucester cheese-rolling takes place. The hill is located just an hour by car from Bristol. The event is much more dangerous than the name would lead you to believe. A wheel of cheese is thrown down the (very) steep hill and one second later competitors throw themselves down after it. The winner is the one who crosses the finish line first. As it is mentioned that the event is very damaging, Bruises, bloodied knees, and broken bones aren’t uncommon side-effects of this intense tradition. Although it is a rougher way to welcome Spring, but the 200-year-old tradition is proudly upheld by the community, attracting both old and new competitors every year.
6. Cimburijada – Bosnia
Cimburijada, which translates to “Festival of Scrambled Eggs,” celebrates the first day of spring in the Bosnian town of Zenica. At the crack of dawn, people gather by the banks of the Bosna river, where a communal meal of scrambled eggs is prepared. Together, people share their breakfast eggs with friends, families, and visitors while drinking and listening to music together to mark the first day of spring.
7. Spring Equinox in Teotihuacán – Mexico
Thousands of people dressed white every year, gathered at the enormous Teotihuacán Pyramid, located around 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, to celebrate the spring equinox. It takes place on either the 20th or 21st of March annually, many celebrants use the morning to climb the 360 steps to the top of the Pyramid to get closer to portals of energy. By raising their arms towards the sky and basking in the sun’s warmth, they “soak up” energy for the year.
8. Floriade – Australia
Parks manager Peter Sutton and landscape designer Chris Slotemaker De Bruine conceptualized a proposal for a grand floral display in celebration of Australia’s bicentenary and Canberra’s 75th birthday in 1988, Floriade first began on the same year. The result of that proposal was beautiful, exotic floral display, which was so wholeheartedly embraced by the local community, that it became an annual celebration of Spring in the country. Every year people from neighboring Sydney and Brisbane travel to enjoy this month-long festival of color, music, and horticulture.
Maslenitsa is celebrated as a time of the return of light and warmth, in Russia. It is a folk festival which is celebrated about seven weeks before Easter. During the lent season (a period of 40 days before Easter) meat, fish, and dairy products are prohibited. It is typically a big festival which is held before the somber, introspective time of Lent. On this occasion straw effigy of the Lady of Maslenitsa is burned in a bonfire. In addition to it leftover pancakes and blintzes are tossed and when the fire has burned away, the ashes are spread in the fields to fertilize the year's crops.
Each year on March 17, St. Patrick’s day is celebrated in Ireland. St. Patrick is known as symbol of Ireland, one of the reason behind his popularity is that he drove the snakes out of Ireland, and was even credited with a miracle for this. St. Patrick brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle and did such a good job of it that he practically eliminated Paganism from the country.
Spring Equinox is about to happen on 20 March. It has unique wallpapers, time, date, and the way of celebration in all abound the world. The Autumnal (September) Equinox is as same as Spring Equinox for all its uniqueness.