Hooray — spring is almost here! It’s that time of year when we start shedding our woolly sweaters, thick socks and enormous coats. We can finally see some grass again and colourful flowers are starting to peek out. And it’s not just us Canadians who get excited about spring. All over the world, countries hold special celebrations to welcome the season. Keep reading to find out more!
In Japan, it isn’t spring until the national flower, the cherry blossom, starts to bloom. When cherry blossoms start appearing on trees, large crowds visit anywhere they can get a glimpse of these amazing flowers. The weather station even gets in on the action by giving regular “blossom updates” to help people plan their visits. Nice!
In springtime, friends and family give each other small woven red-and-white bracelets, sometimes with dolls attached. These bracelets are called martenitsi and are worn around wrists or on clothes. They are symbols of happiness and the colours represent the end of winter (white for snow) and the beginning of spring (red for sunny days). Bulgarians wear the martenitsi until they see a sign of spring, such as a stork or swallow. Some people place them on fruit trees instead hoping the tree will grow lots of yummy fruit.
Nothing says spring like throwing a doll in water. Wait, what? Well, this is a special doll, usually made of straw and dressed in colourful clothes. You’ll see Polish families and friends toting these dolls along as they march down to a pond or river (any body of water will do). This doll represents wintertime, so to send winter on its way and welcome spring, these dolls are sunk in water. Sometimes they’re even set on fire by adults beforehand. They really want to make sure winter stays away for another year!
Want to take part in an epic three-day water fight? Well, look no further than the water festival in Thailand that happens every year. Just one part of the spring and New Year celebration, Songkran, the water festival shuts down major roads and packs them with people ready to have some water fun. Grab a bucket and load up!
You’ll need to wait a while for this spring festival. Australia is on the other side of the world, which means their spring is during our autumn. But if you can hold on until September, you’ll be treated to one of the biggest spring celebrations. For 30 days, a whopping one million flowers fill Commonwealth Park in the capital city of Canberra. Along with sculptures, live music and a gnome-decorating competition, Floriade is one spring celebration you won’t want to miss!