Spring is coming! As amazing winter is, there’s a universal delight in the fresh arrival of spring with the thawing of the frozen landscape and the blossoming of pretty flowers. Humans have celebrated springtime since ancient civilizations. Follow the tradition and ring in the season with a flourish in these six fun-filled spring festivals celebrated all around the world.
Songkran Water Festival (Thailand)
Do you want to experience one of the biggest—if not the biggest—water fights in the world? Thailand’s Water Festival known as Songkran is a time to get soaked with people splashing water on passers-by on the streets with buckets of water, water balloons, and water pistols.
This particular spring festival is actually a celebration marking the Thai New Year. Water is an important element, representing the renewal and rebirth with the practice including cleaning out their homes and spirits with the dawn of the coming year. Throughout Thailand, locals visit temples to pour water over Buddha images.
When: April 13-15, 2020
Holi Festival (India)
If there’s ever a festival that captures the youthful exuberance of spring season, it’s the Holi Festival in India. If you’re in the country on festival day, take to the streets with the locals to throw colored powder and water at each other. Also known as the Festival of Colors, its color, vibrancy, and sheer fun has made this festival one of the most famous spring celebrations in the world.
Holi Festival marks the triumph of good over evil with Hindu god Lord Vishnu defeating the demoness Holika. It’s also a springtime celebration, a thanksgiving event for abundance during harvest season. The night before Holi is called the Holika Dahan when bonfires are traditionally lit to burn effigies representing Holika.
While the Holi Festival is held all across India, the festivities are the biggest and grandest at Mathura and Vrindavan. The state of Rajasthan, particularly Jaipur and Pushkar, is also a popular destination for Holi.
When: March 10, 2020
Cherry Blossom Festival (Japan)
There are other places in the world where travelers can appreciate the fleeting beauty of cherry blossoms, but Japan is the country best known for the pink blossoms known as sakura. Hanami or “flower viewing” is a popular activity in the country, enjoyed by both locals and tourists.
There are plenty of cherry blossom festivals to attend all over Japan with each one showcasing performances, tea ceremonies, and local crafts and delicacies. Light-up events make it a treat to view cherry blossoms at night. Some of the most popular cherry blossom festivals in the country include the Fuji Kawaguchiko Cherry Blossom Festival, Ueno Sakura Matsuri, and Hirosaki Park Cherry Blossom Festival.
Go on a tour of northern Okinawa via KKday and bask in beautiful landscapes carpeted with cherry blossoms.
When: Mid-March to mid-April
Cherry Blossom Festival (South Korea)
If you can’t make it to Japan or you’re looking for somewhere new to celebrate the bloom of cherry trees, try South Korea. The city of Jinhae is one of the most famous places in Korea to see the cherry blossoms in picture-perfect spots, like the old railway tracks at Gyeonghwa Station and Yeojwacheon Stream. At night, the destination transforms into a romantic wonderland with twinkling lights illuminating the pink-hued cherry trees.
Book the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Day or Night Tour from Busan via KKday and be in awe at the bloom in Korea.
Las Fallas (Valencia, Spain)
Expect a feisty and fiery five-day festival with Las Fallas de Valencia in Spain. The festival dates back to the Middle Ages, when winter supplies were set ablaze at the end of the season as a form of “spring cleaning.” Through the years, it evolved into a celebration in honor of the city of Valencia’s patron saint St. Joseph who is a carpenter.
To commemorate him, the various neighborhoods of Valencia craft beautiful wooden “fallas” or giant puppets, which are torched at the end of the festival. Locals hit the streets in elaborate costumes, while street food, music, and fireworks add to the revelry.
When: March 15-19, 2020
Bloemencorso Bollenstreek (The Netherlands)
Known as one of the largest flower parades in the world, Bloemencorso Bollenstreek in The Netherlands celebrates the arrival of spring with some of the most beautiful flowers and flower arrangements in existence.
Bloemencorso Bollenstreek is held annually on the third Saturday of April with the parade coasting through eight different cities stretching out about 40 kilometers. Around 50 flower floats set off from Noordwijk with a merry marching band keeping the energy up during the parade.
When: April 25, 2020
If you happen to be in Taiwan during the spring season, head to Nantou to discover one of the most beautiful destinations of the season in the island state. Book a tour via KKday to witness the great Cherry Blossom Festival in Nantou, then hop on a cable car to marvel at the beauty of the famous Sun Moon Lake.
*Featured image via nelle hembry on Shutterstock