Across the globe, different cultures welcome spring with fascinating and festive traditions. Take a cue from these ideas to celebrate the arrival of spring with a fun, new celebration and open your kids’ eyes to new cultures from around the world.
What spring celebrations do you enjoy with your kids? Share with us in the comments section below!
In Poland, celebrants gather along the Vistula River. They make a 3- to 4-foot straw Marzanna doll dressed in rags, a striped shirt, hat and ribbons. Participants toss her into the river to say goodbye to winter and welcome spring.
Adaptation: Cut out your own Marzanna dolls from cardstock, and color them together. Hang them in the window or display them on a shelf to say goodbye to winter and hello to the spring season.
This Persian festival marks the first day of spring across the Middle East. The event begins with a traditional spring cleaning of the home. As part of the celebration, a table is set with seven items each beginning with the same letter, symbolizing life, love, health, wealth, fertility, patience and renewal.
Adaptation: Find seven items meaningful to your family and place them on the table during dinner. These items could all start with the same letter (maybe matching your family’s last name), or you could pick seven adjectives best representing your family.
Pyramid of the Sun
Each year, thousands attend the spring equinox event at the world’s third-largest pyramid in Teotihuacan, Mexico. Many arrive early to watch the sunrise over the Apan Mountains east of the pyramid.
Adaptation: Make a pyramid-shaped sun catcher. Collect spring leaves and ;flowers, and have your child arrange them on a clear piece of contact paper cut into a triangle shape. Cover with a second piece of clear contact paper, press down and wrap the edges with washi tape. Clean up any loose leaves and petals with a Swiffer Sweep + Vac – it’s rechargeable for easy sweeping!
During this Indian festival of colors, Hindus throw colored powder at each other and rub it on each others’ faces to celebrate the many vibrant colors of spring.
Adaptation: Break out the face paint! Flowers, bugs and sports are easy-to-paint themes the kids love. And don’t worry if they get messy while having fun – wipe faces clean with damp Bounty paper towels, clean up tough messes from hard surfaces with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and wash clothes with Tide PODS Ultra-Oxi to remove stains.
Visitors from all over the world come to Thailand for this three-day water festival. People throw water on each other to wash away bad luck and allow good luck to enter for the new year.
Adaptation: Get out your rain gear and take your family for a walk during a gentle spring shower. Smell the fresh air, notice the budding trees, play in the rain, listen for the birds and, of course, splash in the puddles!
May 1 is a national holiday in much of Europe. Townspeople gather to celebrate spring and watch the raising of the Maypole, a tall wooden pole decorated with colorful ribbons and flowers. Although not as common these days, some leave anonymous “May baskets” with treats or flowers at neighbors’ doors.
Adaptation: Deliver a May Day basket. Have your child decorate a piece of construction paper with stickers, drawings or a collage of bird and flower images cut from magazines. Glue or staple the paper into a cone. Place handmade paper flowers or ;fresh-picked flowers in the cone. Attach a colorful ribbon, and hang it on a friend’s door.