Blog>Top Festivals Around the World to Celebrate Spring
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Top Festivals Around the World to Celebrate Spring

Natalie Arney


There are so many ways to celebrate the arrival of spring that it’s difficult to choose just one event to do so at. That’s why we’ve made it a little easier for you and compiled a selection of the most interesting, beautiful and enjoyable spring festivals in the world.

Holi

Holi celebrations in India, showing a dense crowd of people covered in coloured paint and powder

Image source: S. Gerner, Flickr

What is Holi?

Holi is a Hindu spring festival and is best known around the world for the colourful powder that festival goers throw at one another. The origins of the festival can be found in Hindu mythology - a story of a demon, Holika, and her brother King Hiranyakashipu. The festival’s main aim is to celebrate the arrival of spring, alongside celebrating love, colour, fertility and the triumph of good over evil.

Where is Holi celebrated?

Holi is mainly celebrated in India, and the best places to watch or take part in the celebrations include:

  • Mathura & Vrindava
  • Barsana
  • Shantiniketan
  • Anandpur Sahib
  • Jaipur and Udaipur
  • Goa
  • Hampi
  • Mumbai
  • Purulia
  • Delhi

When is Holi?

Holi 2019 began on Wednesday 20 marzo and ended on Thursday 21 marzo. Holi 2020 will start on Monday 9 marzo and will end on Tuesday 10 marzo.

How do I get to a Place Where Holi is Celebrated?

Fly me to Mathura & Vrindava, Barsana Agra Airport (AGR) with Air India, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, and IndiGo

Fly me to Shantiniketan and Purulia Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport (RDP), Durgapur - with Air India and SpiceJet

Fly me to Anandpur Sahib Shimla (SLV) - with Air Deccan

Fly me to Jaipur and Udaipur - Jaipur International Airport (JAI) - Air Arabia, Air India, Air India Express, AirAsia India, AirAsia X, Alliance Air , GoAir, IndiGo, Jet Airways, Oman Air, SpiceJet, Thai AirAsia, Thai Smile

Fly me to Goa Goa International Airport (GOI) - Air Arabia, Air India, AirAsia India, Alliance Air, Arkia, Finnair, GoAir, IndiGo, Jet Airways, Nordwind Airlines, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, SpiceJet, TruJet, Thomas Cook Airlines, TUI Airlines, Vistara

Fly me to Hampi - Hubballi Airport (HBX) - Air India, Alliance Air, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Star Air

Fly me to Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) - Air Canada, British Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, KLM, Qatar Airways, United Airlines

Fly me to Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) - Air India, IndiGo, United Airlines, Korean Air, British Airways, Etihad

Songkran

Songkran water fight with the public splashing about in the water with flags

What is Songkran?

Songkran is the Thai New Year’s holiday. The festival takes place over three days, however, the whole country will shut down for a week for a massive, country-wide, water fight, alongside additional celebrations, such as making merit at the temple, repelling bad luck with gunfire and firecrackers, and traditional ceremonies.

Where is Songkran Celebrated?

The best places to celebrate Songkran in Thailand include:

  • Khao San Road (Bangkok)
  • Ayutthaya
  • Chiang Mai
  • Koh Samui, Surat Thani
  • Phuket

When is Songkran?

Songkran 2019 starts on Saturday 13 abril and ends on Monday 15 abril. Songkran 2020 will start on Monday 13 abril and ends on Wednesday 15 abril

How do I get to a Place Where Songkran is Celebrated?

Fly me to Bangkok - Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) - British Airways, EVA Air, Thai Vietjet Air, Thai Smile, KLM

Fly me to Chiang Mai - Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX)- Jeju Air, Ruili Airlines, Nok Air, HK Express, Hainan Airlines, Bangkok Airlines

Fly me to Koh Samui, Surat Thani - Samui Airport (USM)- Bangkok Airlines, Lucky Air, Tibet Airlines, Chengdu Airlines, Silkair

Fly me to Phuket - Phuket International Airport (HKT) - Firefly, Asiana Airlines, Okay Airways, Thai Smile, TUI Airways, Myanmar National Airlines

Hanami

Diners sitting and eating under blossom trees at night. Located at Maruyama Park in Kyoto, Japan.

 Image source: Wikimedia Commons

What is Hanami?

Hanami is the festival in Japan that welcomes spring. It’s also known as ‘cherry blossom season’, and incorporates the traditional Japanese custom of viewing spring flowers and blossoms, including those of the sakura (cherry blossom tree), with picnics and socialising with friends and loved ones. Many companies in Japan produce items to celebrate sakura season, including Starbucks (which has special sakura themed food and drink items, alongside collectables), Asahi (which has cherry blossom themed packaging for beer, and also produces chuhai, an alcoholic fruit cocktail that is enjoyed by many holding hanami parties), conbini stores such as Lawson (which sells a wide range of delicious cherry blossom flavoured food and drink items), and traditional Japanese sweet (wagashi) shops also sell delicious, sakura themed traditional sweets.

Where Can I See Hanami Celebrated?

The best places to see cherry blossom during Hanami (sakura season) in Japan include:

  • Tokyo: Shinjuku Gyoen, Ueno Park, Chidorigafuchi, Sumida Park, Sankeien Garden, Yokohama: Mitsuike Park (Mitsuike Koen)
  • Izu Peninsula: Kawazu
  • Fuji Five Lakes: Northern Shores of Kawaguchiko, Chureito Pagoda
  • Gunma Prefecture: Akagi Senbonzakura
  • Nagano Prefecture: Matsumoto Castle, Takato Castle Ruins Park
  • Niigata Prefecture: Takada Castle
  • Kanazawa: Kenrokuen
  • Nagoya: Yamazakigawa Riverside, Nagoya Castle
  • Hikone: Hikone Castle
  • Kyoto: Philosopher's Path, Maruyama Park, Arashiyama, Heian Shrine
  • Osaka: Kema Sakuranomiya Park, Osaka Castle, Expo 70 Commemorative Park, Osaka Mint Bureau
  • Okayama: Handayama Botanical Garden, Korakuen Garden and Okayama Castle
  • Fukushima: Hanamiyama Park, Miharu Takizakura
  • Other honorable mentions: Hirosaki Castle (Aomori Prefecture), Himeji Castle, Mount Yoshinoyama (Nara Prefecture)

When is Hanami?

This will depend on the prefecture - the part of Japan. The southernmost, tropical islands of Okinawa can see cherry blossoms open as early as January, whereas Hokkaido, the northern island, can see a wait as late as May.

How do I get to a Place Where Hanami is Celebrated?

Fly me to Tokyo - Narita International Airport (NRT): American Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Singapore Airlines, Jetstar Japan, Delta Airlines

Fly me to Shizuoka - Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport (FSZ): Air Seoul, All Nippon Airways, Fuji Dream Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Beijing Capital Airlines

Fly me to Kyoto - Osaka International Airport (Itami Airport) (ITM): All Nippon Airways, Amakusa Airlines, Japan Airlines

Fly me to Okayama - Okayama Momotaro Airport (OKJ): Air Do, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, China Eastern Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines

Fly me to Osaka - Kansai International Airport (KIX): Air France, All Nippon Airways, Delta, British Airways, Qantas, Peach, Scoot, Hawaiian Airlines

Las Fallas

Las Fallas festival in Valencia, Spain. At night, with street light display

 Image source: Wikimedia Commons

What is Las Fallas?

Las Fallas is a traditional Valencian festivity held in honour of Saint Joseph. ‘Fallas’ means ‘fires’ and since Saint Joseph is the patron saint of carpenters, those celebrating create and burn monuments. Other parts of the celebration include street parties, fireworks displays, and lots of food and drink.

Where is Las Fallas?

Las Fallas is held in the city of Valencia, and a number of towns in the Valencian community, in Spain.

When is Las Fallas?

Las Fallas takes place at the same time every year, with the main events running from marzo 15 to marzo 19. Since there are many events taking place in the two weeks leading up to the week, the official dates are 1st Marchuntil 19 marzo.

How do I get to where Las Fallas is Celebrated?

Fly me to Valencia Airport (VLC): easyjet, Eurowings, Ryanair, Iberia, Laudamotion, British Airways

Bloemencorso Bollenstreek

floral viking ship float at Bloemencorso Bollenstreek

 Image source: Wikimedia Commons

What is Bloemencorso Bollenstreek?

Bloemencorso Bollenstreek is one of the largest flower parades in the world. Visitors can see beautiful, elaborate floats, decorated with tulips and other locally-grown flowers, accompanied by music and other types of float, entertaining hundreds of thousands of spectators along the 40km route of the parade.

Where is Bloemencorso Bollenstreek?

Bloemencorso Bollenstreek makes its way through the municipality of Noordwijk, starting at Noordwijk itself and ending in the city of Haarlem.

When is Bloemencorso Bollenstreek?

The event takes part towards the end of April. In 2019, the event will fall on 10-14 April.

How do I get to Where Bloemencorso Bollenstreek is Celebrated?

Fly me to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS): Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Flybe, KLM, Transavia, United Airlines, easyjet, Air Transat

Baba Marta

A close up shot of traditional Martenitsa bands hanging from a magnolia tree

 Image source: Wikimedia Commons

What is Baba Marta?

Also known as Grandma March Day, or Birch Month, Baba Marta is a typical Bulgarian tradition to welcome spring, and is celebrated by wearing and gifting martenitsi - small adornments made of red and white yarn that are usually in the form of dolls. The martenitsi are usually worn until the wearer first sees a swallow, stork, or blossoming tree, or until late March.

Where is Baba Marta Celebrated?

Baba Marta is celebrated in Bulgaria

When is Baba Marta Celebrated?

The festival is on marzo 1 every year

How do I get to Where Baba Marta is Celebrated?

Fly me to Sofia - Sofia Airport (SOF): easyjet, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Bulgaria Air, British Airways, TUI Airways

Fly me to Burgas - Burgas Airport (BOJ): S7 Airlines, Aeroflot

Fly me to Varna Airport (VAR): Bulgaria Air, Austrian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, S7 Airlines

Other Notable spring festivals include:

Cheese rolling in Gloucester, UK, Cimburijada in Zenica, Bosnia, Walpurgis Night in Central Europe and Scandinavia, Teotihuacan in Mexico, Nowruz in Iran and across Western Asia.

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