After the cold, harsh, winter season, we welcome spring with many spring celebrations. The new season is a time for new life, and many countries time their holidays to coincide with the spring season. Whether it is Greek traditions for Easter, or buying the best gifts for Mother’s Day in the U.S. we all have rituals and festivities we look forward to.
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Keukenhof Gardens in Holland- Tulip time
From Morgan At Crave the Planet
7 million flowering bulbs in 79 acres layered with living and formed indoor and outdoor art installations with food, drinks, kids’ activities makes Keukenhof Gardens the ultimate bucket list Spring Festival.
Originally a hunting ground in the 15th century, Keukenhof Flower Gardens was built in 1949 and is located in Lisse, Holland. It’s easy to reach from Amsterdam International airport via train, bus or car.
The highlight of Keukenhof Gardens is the Spring Flower Parade and will be held 23 April 2022.
The park is open March 24 – May 15 2022. Tours are open daily from 8:30 – 19:30. Admission fees: Admission is 18,50 € for adults and children from 4 – 17 years is 9,00 €. Children up to 3 years are free. You must purchase online for a specific time, day and time slot due to covid restrictions.
It’s perfect to pair with a visit to Amsterdam or the lesser known city of Maastricht. Known for being the location of the signing of the European Treaty forming the EU, it’s also near gorgeous hiking, indoor skiing and biking in the Brunssummerheide Nature Preserve.
St. Patrick’s Day- Most well known spring holidays
Contributed by Pamela from the Directionally Challenged Traveler
One of the best spring holidays around the world is St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. It is an unforgettable bucket list experience, unlike any other St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Most of the world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, the celebration in Dublin lasts a full week! Ireland’s capital is filled with over half a million people.
Be sure to pack enough green for the week – legend says that if you’re wearing green then the leprechauns can’t see you! If you don’t wear green, the locals might pinch you.
More than just a drinking holiday
In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is more than just a drinking holiday. The history of Ireland will be celebrated all week long in conjunction with the patron saint. There are plenty of local restaurants serving traditional Irish food, musicians playing traditional Irish songs, and Irish step dancing groups performing.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade is truly the highlight of the week. People start lining up on the 17th around 9:00 a.m. even though the parade doesn’t start until noon. Secure a spot in one of the grandstands along the route for the best views. The St. Patrick’s Day Festival Ireland Facebook page usually posts the tickets in September for the following March.
The parade is a wonderful display of culture, tradition, and the arts. The displays range in topics from Ireland’s history, St. Patrick’s life, and others were Irish folklore.
Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration is easily one of the best spring festivals in the world!
Nowruz, the Persian New Year – First day of spring traditions
Contributed by Palo of Moon and Roses
In the Persian world, Nowruz is one of the most important dates to mark on your calendar as it marks a new year. It takes place on the first day of Spring. Nowruz is celebrated in numerous countries across Asia, such as Azerbaijan, Iraq, Tajikistan, Turkey, and many more. However, it is recognized as a public holiday in only two countries: Afghanistan and Iran. If you wish to witness the true heights of Nowruz celebrations, those are the places to be!
Unlike the commonly observed New Year that we all know of, the Persian New Year’s festivities go on for 2 weeks in Iran, and 40 days in Afghanistan! This allows plenty of time for the Persian peoples to connect with their ancient roots. They get a fresh start by doing major spring cleaning in their homes, visiting loved ones, and preparing food. The latter is probably what makes Nowruz last for so long. There’s quite some eating involved during the Persian Spring holidays!
Most important tradition
The most essential tradition performed during Nowruz is Haft-Seen: Persian for “7 things beginning with the letter S”. They ring in the New Year, not at midnight, but rather at the exact time of the Spring equinox. Right before they ring in the new year, family and friends gather around a table. They set up the table with 7 commodities representing the four elements of fire, air, earth, water, and the three life forms of animals, humans, and plants. Different countries display different objects or foods on the Haft-Seen table. But typical things that can be found are olives, apples, vinegar, mirrors, candles, painted eggs, etc.
After the Nowruz dinner has been eaten and the Haft-Seen table served, the night usually ends with families gathering around to play musical instruments, sing, and most importantly, recite sacred Persian poetry!
Pacific Rim Whale Festival- Spring celebrations in Canada
From Dean and Laynni at Routinely Nomadic
Tofino and Ucluelet are considered “the end of the road”, a description that applies quite literally. Located on the Pacific Coast on the far west side of Vancouver Island, there is only one road to reach these two amazing coastal towns and it stops there. Known as one of the best surfing destinations in Canada, this stunning natural area features outstanding hiking in Pacific Rim National Park, phenomenal beach camping, a wide range of wildlife, world-class fishing, picturesque lakes and beaches that stretch for miles.
While the Tofino area is a wonderful place to visit any time of year, it really comes to life every spring during the Pacific Rim Whale Festival. That’s right, this is one of the country’s best whale watching destinations as well. Every spring, up to 20,000 grey whales pass by on their annual migration. Ever since 1980, for 9 days in late March, this fantastic festival celebrates these majestic creatures. The celebration includes a fascinating variety of events and activities.
Spring holiday fun for all ages
From whale watching tours and nature walks, to informative seminars and traditional music, the Pacific Rim Whale Festival has a little something for everyone. There are art exhibits for the adults, cookie decorating for kids and a salmon roast for, well, everyone.
Everyday there are 3-4 different events to enjoy. These include daily environment marine life workshops and the very popular Build-A-Whale event. Here everyone teams up to rebuild the skeleton of a Killer Whale while learning all about its anatomy, biology and evolution.
The festival itself is free to attend, although certain events require ticket purchase and donations and sponsorship are encouraged. Meanwhile, all week you can usually spot whales right from shore.
Palm Sunday, Romania- Spring religious holidays
By Corina at Another Milestone
On Easter, Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Palm Sunday (known in Romanian as the Flower Sunday) marks the last Sunday before Easter. Palm Sunday represents the triumphal entry of our Savior Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.
One of the most beautiful places where you can see what this holiday is about is Maramures, Romania. To visit Maramures you need a few days. Here you will find a list of places where you can stay.
Maramures, the region in northern Romania, is known for preserving traditions. This makes a visit to Maramures even more special on a holiday. The people of Maramureș celebrate the Christian holidays with holiness. Here they intertwine holiness with popular rituals and beliefs, and agrarian traditions. They are often accompanied by events where people sing and dance.
In Maramures, on Palm Sunday, the priests consecrate the willow branches that the people bring to the church. Then they keep these on the roof of the house all year round. Tradition says these willow branches will protect homes, animals and people. The branches are sanctified and placed on fruit trees to help them bear fruit.
Tradition says you must eat fish this Sunday. They also celebrate all those named after flowers. So you will surely find yourself at a folk dance party.
Kingsday- Spring Holidays in the Netherlands
Suggested by Cosette from KarsTravels.
Koningsdag, which translates as Kingsday, is a National day celebrated in the Netherlands to celebrate the King’s Birthday. The Dutch celebrate Kingsday on the 27th of April since 2014. Before that we celebrated Koninginnedag (Queen’s day). Since the day celebrates the King’s or Queen’s birthday, when Willem-Alexander became King, he changed the date to his birthday. It used to be April 30th.
The whole kingdom of the Netherlands celebrates the holiday. So next to in the Netherlands, they also celebrate it on the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire and St. Maarten.
The celebrations start on Koningsnacht (Kingsday Eve), the evening before Kingsday. Festivities continue to about 6pm on the 27th. During this period they lift the ban on free trade. Almost every city and town has a vrijmarkt (jumble sale). People lay a plaid somewhere in a designated area. Then they try to sell all the stuff they want to get rid of. It’s a fun way to spend Kingsday, to either sell your stuff and/or browse the flea markets.
During Kingsday and Kingsday Eve there are festivals and parties all over the Netherlands with music, drinking and dancing.
Each year the King with his family visits a city or town. That town or city organizes a lot of festivities. Think games such as zaklopen (sack racing) and spijkerpoepen (nail shitting). Each city or town thinks it’s an honor to receive the Royal family.
People dress up in orange clothing, the color of the Royal family, and in red, white and blue, the colors of the Dutch flag.
Easter- Spring holidays in Colorado Springs
By Meg of Fox in the Forrest
One of the best places to celebrate spring holidays is Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Not only is this city an easy, 2.5-hour drive from Denver but it is a fantastic place to go to celebrate Easter and enjoy some of the best hikes in Colorado Springs.
So, start your holiday off with a luxurious Easter brunch at the Lake Terrace Dining Room inside the Broadmoor Resort.
The food is incredible and the journey to the hotel is amazing too since you’ll have to use the Cadillac Escalade shuttle to ascend to the summit of Cheyenne Mountain, where the resort is located.
Therefore, be sure to take in all the sweeping views around you before digging into a decadent meal of brioche french toast, crepe pancakes, omelets, and more.
Afterward, book a refined room inside the Fire Tower Suite before enjoying the city’s annual Easter egg Hunt Fundraiser at Miramont Castle.
Fun for kids during the spring holidays
Adults and children of all ages will be delighted since participants get to take part in a fun Easter egg hunt before enjoying a 3-course Victorian tea service.
Kids will also love digging into pizza and making smores as they spend the night at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo during their Easter overnight event.
However, if you can’t secure a spot for this popular event, you can always spend Easter Sunday at the zoo feeding giraffes, riding the carousel, and meeting all the resident animals.
Finally, book a seat aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad’s Easter Train and marvel at the stunning views of the natural landscape that surround you.
And when you get a little hungry, enjoy a premium lunch that consists of one of five different gourmet entrees for lunch.
Dutch Liberation Day- Lesser known spring holidays
Submitted by Kayla from Writing From Nowhere
Every year on May 5th in the Netherlands, a large party rings out across the entire country under the banner of Liberation Day.
Known locally as Bevrijdingsdag, this is the second part of a tandem holiday. On May 4th, the Dutch celebrate Remembrance Day. Known in Dutch as Dodenherdenking, this is a sober and serious event.
Every year at 8 p.m. on May 4th, there are two minutes of silence to commemorate Dutch soldiers who have died since World War II. Flags fly at half-mast in the evening, and are hoisted again in the morning for Liberation Day.
Liberation Day used to celebrate the freedom that the Dutch experienced after Nazi occupation ended in World War II. Now, the Dutch appreciate and celebrate their freedom in a wider sense.
The day is marked with open-air festivals and concerts across the country, all free. Hordes of people flock to see the acts, which are often very good. A government-funded party might imply a boring, cheap lineup in many countries, but the Netherlands is not one of them.
It’s a welcomed early summer celebration, after months of dark and rainy winter. On May 5th, the sun sets at 9:13 pm, offering nearly five more hours of daylight versus January 5th.
There are no special foods or household traditions for this day, but it is one heck of a party. It’s a fantastic holiday for tourists to plan a visit around.
Holy Week Guatemala – Spring festivals around the world
By Dan from Backpacking Latin America
When on the lookout for the Spring Holiday destinations that offer something that will keep you fully entertained, a trip to Antigua in Guatemala has Holy Week (known as Semana Santa in Spanish). Antigua is known as major hub for people backpacking in Guatemala. But this holiday event, which spans over one full week, is special for religious people from all over Latin America. It is during this time of the year you can encounter people from all over the world. The celebration is not limited to adults. You see children of ages dressing up and taking part in the traditional activities. These religious activities, depending on the year, take place sometime between March 22 and April 23.
Since this is a holiday event, it is seen as a tourist attraction for the thousands of visitors. These visitors arrive to witness the colorful processions that mark the moment when the Spaniards arrived in Guatemala in 1524. Other elements you can see during the week include elaborate floats, statues, and elegantly colored carpets made out of real flowers, as well as other natural items. Semana Santa is a must-see festival to get involved with during the Spring Holidays. Be sure to book accommodation well ahead of time. Rooms get booked up months in advance in anticipation of this event.
St. David’s Day- Spring holidays UK
Contributed by Lowri from Many of the Roads
The Celtic nation of Wales in the UK is famous for its huge sheep population, incredible landscapes, friendly locals and wonderful traditions. St. David’s Day, one of these traditions, has been celebrated for hundreds of years.
St David’s Day, or Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant in Welsh, is a Welsh national spring holiday. The Welsh people celebrate this holiday on March 1st in Wales, UK. This holiday celebrates the life of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales (589 AD). The Welsh people celebrate this holiday by celebrating everything Welsh.
The country celebrates ths holiday in many different ways. Some simply celebrate it by wearing a Daffodil or Leek, the national symbol of Wales. However this spring Holiday usually includes singing welsh songs, wearing traditional welsh dress, and eating other traditional welsh food like cawl or bara brith.
You will always find plenty of Welsh Cakes available on this day too.
Students celebrate this Holiday deeply in Schools. Pupils are encouraged to wear traditional Welsh dress for the day. Most Schools also create their own Eisteddfod on the day. This is a Welsh Competition where the arts, especially Singing and Poetry are celebrated.
St David’s Day is not yet a Bank Holiday in the UK. However there is huge support for this, so this could change very soon. If you are planning a visit and want a true taste of Wales, St David’s Day is the absolutely the best time for your trip.
Find out how Wales regained the right to speak their own language.
Cherry Blossom Festival – Celebrations in spring in Japan
Contributed by Mackenzie from A Wandering Scribbler
You can’t mention springtime without cherry blossoms in Japan. Viewing cherry blossoms, or “sakura” in Japanese, has been a national pastime since the 8th century. Many species of cherry tree exist which were cultivated through cross-breeding and sent all over the world. There’s a good chance the cherry blossoms in your country originated in Japan.
Cherry blossoms are important to the Japanese for more than their beauty. It has to do with the very brief life of the flowers, blooming only for about a week to ten days. Their fleeting beauty illustrates that nothing is permanent. Everything passes away at some point. A sad but beautiful admiration for this impermanence has been an essential part of the Japanese mindset since ancient times and is still found in daily life. In Japanese, it’s called “mono no aware.”
Cherry blossom season typically starts in mid or late-March to mid-April, depending on where you are in the country. There are many ways to enjoy the cherry blossoms in Japan:
This means “flower viewing” and is a great Japanese tradition of having a picnic under the sakura and enjoying the blossoms. Bring a tarp to sit on, snacks, drinks, and people to admire the blooms.
These cherry blossom festivals provide food stalls, pretty lanterns, and entertainment. The festivals take place around peak blossom season and are a perfect way to view the blossoms and enjoy the spring weather.
This refers to trees illuminated at night. They offer a different take on the cherry blossom viewing experience.
The best chance of seeing some cherry blossoms in their natural habitat is to head out into the mountains for a spring walk. Pack a picnic, and welcome spring out in nature.
I hope these festivals and celebrations of spring holiday inspire you to explore the road.
Donna Emperador is a travel and food blogger and copywriter. Donna believes in learning about different cultures while sharing good food and cocktails. She has lived in South Florida for over 20 years and enjoys spending time exploring the road to find unique places to share with readers. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.