Lesser-known Spring Traditions and Celebrations


Lauren von Aspen, Journalist

While many Spring holidays are well-known and often discussed (Easter, Passover, Holi), there are several interesting Spring festivals and celebrations from around the world that are lesser-known.

Cimburijada (Bosnia)

Cimburijada is a Spring festival celebrated in the the city of Zenica, Bosnia. In Zenica, Spring is welcomed through the Festival of Scrambled Eggs. On the dawn of Spring (March 21), residents of the town walk to a large field, where they pitch tents and celebrate together. The most important part of the day is breakfast, where a giant pot of scrambled eggs, enough for the whole town to eat, is cooked and eaten together.

Marzanna (Poland)

One of the most odd and intriguing traditions on this list is the drowning (or burning) of Marzanna in Poland. Every year during the Spring equinox, parades of men, women, and children carry homemade effigies of Marzanna, a Slavic goddess associated with death and seasonal rituals. The effigies are carried to the closest bodies of water and drowned, burned, or torn. The procession then returns to the village with the corpses adorned with ribbons or other decorations. The process symbolizes the death of Marzanna (Winter) and the rebirth of Kostroma (Spring). In many locations, the village people’s arrival is celebrated with a large feast.

Sechselauten (Switzerland)

Sechselauten is a Spring tradition held annually in the city of Zurich, Switzerland. On April 8, residents gather to watch the burning of the Boogg, a giant, eleven-foot tall snowman effigy. The burning of the Boogg is thought to predict the weather for the summer. The faster the fire reaches the snowman’s head (which is stuffed with fireworks), the better the summer weather is expected to be. The Sechselauten is a highlight for the city, with thousands of paraders and visitors. A new tradition includes the roasting of sausages on the embers of the pyre to share with friends and family.

Hanami (Japan)

Hanami is a Japanese festival to welcome Spring and the cherry blossom bloom. Also known as the cherry blossom festival, people gather underneath the cherry blossoms (sakura) during Hanami to appreciate the beauty of nature. Festival dates vary by year and location and are linked to the bloom of the cherry blossoms rather than any astrological time frame, although they typically occur in late March through May. Hanami is one of Japan’s oldest and most beautiful festivals.