As Easter Break comes closer and Intercultural Life, CAB, and Residence Life work hard to prepare for our celebration of Holi, I thought it would be fun to learn about other religious festivals that also celebrate spring. While I am sure there are numerous spring festivals around the world, each one is celebrated a little differently by different regions. Tonight I’m going to focus on a handful of some well-known religions.
For those who are from a Christian faith, or are familiar with the Christian faith, the celebration of Easter may not be new to you. For those who aren’t as familiar, the celebration of Easter is the celebration of the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead after being tortured and crucified for others’ sins. This holiday has since become a celebration of new life and rebirth. It wasn’t until around the 1600’s that the Easter bunny and Easter egg were included.1
The Jewish holiday of Passover is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar because it is the celebration of Moses freeing the Jewish slaves from the rule of the Pharaoh. This is celebrated now by a feast, singing, and the reading of Moses’s tale from the book Haggadah.2
Another Jewish spring holiday is Purim. This holiday celebrates the rescue of the Jews from the Persian Empire and is celebrated similarly to that of Passover; with food and drink, as well as the giving of charity to the poor; and for some, wearing masks and costumes.3
While I’m sure you all have been reading I-Life’s signs all over campus promoting Holi and the Color Me Central Run, I figured I would give you a little bit more information on the Hindu holiday of spring. Holi is the celebration of spring, love, and the triumph of good over evil. There are many myths that are part of the origin of Holi, each one giving significant meaning to each tradition of the festival. The festival itself is traditionally celebrated first with a bonfire the night before Holi, then the next day all social barriers break down as everyone takes to the street. In the streets children are throwing colored water at elderly people, adults are putting away their differences and covering each other in dyed cornstarch, and everyone is coming together to make music and celebrate life.4
The Iranian New Year’s festival, Nowruz, marks the first day of spring; taking place on or near the vernal equinox. This is a 13-day festival that involves spring cleaning, jumping over bonfires, visiting family, and exchanging gifts.5
There are many other spring holidays from many other religions in the world. If you want to find more, or read more about the ones I mentioned, visit the links below!
Links to Spring Festival info:
This post has amazing photo’s and a great general description of several different religious, spring holidays.
This website has all the different kinds of spring celebrations organized into different regions of the world.
Thanks for reading!