As the weather begins to warm up, many people turn their attention toward their springtime traditions. While for some, springtime looks like decorating Easter eggs and planting flower gardens, there is a whole world of other springtime traditions that people have celebrated for generations.
Recognizing and honoring some of the springtime traditions from across the world will help us better appreciate both the diversity of the world and the new season.
Many travel-minded people have seen colorful images of this Indian festival without knowing what they meant. Holi, also known as “The Festival of Colors” or “The Festival of Love” is one part of a larger festival that lasts two days and has multiple traditions like burning a pyre and visiting relatives.
But by far, the most famous is the tradition where people toss colored powders and solutions at each other.
Straw Hat Day
Fashion has traditionally been separated into a fall and a spring season. The cold-weather season is typically marked by heavier fabrics, while the spring is marked by lighter fabrics. Back in the 19th century, the same logic was applied to hats, with felt hats being worn in winter and straw hats in the spring.
To that end, many communities in North America used to have a day marked as “straw hat day,” the day in which men switched from felt hats to straw. Since people don’t tend to wear hats every day as they did back then, most people don’t celebrate Straw Hat Day. But fans of vintage fashion may still be seen wearing a straw hat, like a boater or trilby, on May 15th.
Purim is a Jewish holiday celebrated across the world sometime in mid-March. The festival celebrates the story of Queen Esther and Mordecai, who helped avert a Jewish genocide back in the days of the Persian empire.
The holiday is celebrated with readings of Megillah (the book of Esther), eating a big meal with wine, and giving gifts to the poor. Children also are encouraged to dress in costumes, especially costumes of figures from the story.
Looking at different springtime traditions from across the world can give people the idea that we are all different, which is true. But ultimately, the fact that we all choose this time of year to celebrate communicates another idea as well—that we have more in common than we think.