Around the world, people celebrate the end of a cold and looong winter in different kind of ways through unique festivals and traditions. Some of them date back thousands of years, while others are relatively new.
From the most colorul traditions to exploding snowmen or flower festivals, check out some unique traditions aroung the globe in which cultures around the world celebrate the start of the spring season.
#1. Marzanna (Poland)
On the first day of spring, Polish people make handmade Marzannas. These are thrown into rivers and streams to signal the end of winter. This one dates back from the 16th century and it’s called the drowning of the Marzanna.
In fact, is a doll, usually made of straw and it symbolizez the cold, dreary winter. The dolls are then paraded through the street as crowds make their way to a river or other body of water.
Photo Source: Flickr by Magic Madzik
#2. Sechseläuten (Switzerland)
The Swiss celelebrate the end of the winter with a fiery show to ring in the new season. Therefore, a snowman is burned on a stake once the first flowers begin to bloom, marking the definite end to winter’s dark days. It’s best known as the Böögg, the snowman’s demise is a popular tradition dating back to the 16th century. You should know that the snowman is often stuffed with explosives.
In modern times, the rate at which the Böögg burns is seen as a predictor of summer weather. The faster the fire reaches the head of the snowman, the better the conditions are expected to be. If it explodes in the first 6-10 minutes, then, the summer will be dry and sunny. An explosion after 10-15 minutes of burning forecasts a rainy summer.
#3. Baba Marta Day (Bulgaria)
In Bulgarian, Baba Marta means “the grandmother of March”. Therefore, it’s no coincidence that the tradition starts on the first day of the month. In folklore, Baba Marta is a cranky old lady who must be treated kindly, or she will bestow more cold, bleak winter days.
In modern times, Baba Marta Day is treated as a celebration of spring’s proximity. To welcome the new season, Bulgarians adorn their wrists Martenitsi, or red and white bracelets that symbolize health and fertility. People hand out the red and white symbols to friends and loved ones to wish them peace and happiness.
#4. Whuppity Scoorie (Scotland)
It’s a really old tradition so, no one can really pinpoint how or why it started. Back in the days, Scotish children run around with balls made of crumpled paper swinging around their heads near dusk on the first of March. They run laps around the town’s bell, known as the Kirk, until it rings at 6 p.m. after six months of silence during the desolate winter days.
You should know that the “Whuppity Scoorie” name comes from the 19th century and itțs still a popular tradition nowadays.
#5. Cimburijada (Bosnia)
People gather to receive traditional free scrambled eggs during celebrations of “Cimburijada” or “Festival of Scrambled Eggs”, in a city park on the banks of the Bosna River, in the Bosnian town of Zenica. The specific day would be on Thursday, March 21, 2013.
Photo Source: Flickr by Amel Emric
The focus is on the egg, a symbol of new life, as the new season starts. The amounts of scambled eggs are cooked in huge pots and then handed out for free. The tradition dates back a few hundred years and attracts visitors from around the country and not only.
#6. Falles (Spain)
In Valencia, Spain, the population triples in size during the annual Fallas (or Falles) festival. This takes place every March and more than 3 million people show up for a week of fiery and satirical entertainment. The week begins processions to honor Saint Joseph and ends with the incineration of ninots, the paper-mâché figurines stuffed with firecrackers.
Info Source: AccuWeather