Spring is here and its arrival is celebrated in many different ways around the world. At Global Youth Village, we encourage and appreciate looking at everything from a global perspective. Diversity and cultural understanding and appreciation are key elements of our program. Check out how spring is celebrated in Iran, Ethiopia and Peru.
In harmony with the rebirth of nature, the two-week Persian New Year celebration, or Nowruz, always begins on the first day of spring. On that day-which may occur on March 20, 21, or 22 – Nowruz celebrations include many traditions and wonderful foods.
Nowruz ceremonies consist of a series of symbolic actions dating back to ancient times, including:
- Cleaning of the environment, cleansing of the self, confession of sins, the exorcising of devils, or divs, from the house and the community.
- Forgive yourself and your enemies and a time for making up relationships.
- Dowsing and re-lighting the fires.
- Processions to borders, seas, and rivers.
- Disruption of the normal order of things with boisterous parties.
Enkutatash is the spring festival that is celebrated on September 11. Enkutatash means the “GIFT OF JEWELS.” Legend has it that when the famous Queen of Sheba returned from her expensive jaunt to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem, her chiefs welcomed her back by replenishing her treasury with enku or jewels.
Ethopians have many unique celebrations to mark the arrival of spring/New Year. On the eve of enkutatash, many people light big bonfires made of twigs in their yards. In the morning, the floors of houses are strewn with freshly cut tall grass (kaytema). Families will often attend church and then slaughter a sheep or a chicken for an evening feast. Later in the day, young girls donning new clothes, gather daisies and present friends with a bouquet, singing New Year’s songs. They often receive a small gift in return, usually either money or bread. Young boys paint pictures of saints to give away and also receive a small token in return.
The international spring festival in the city of Trujilo, Peru takes place during early October. Trujilo is known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ due to its very pleasant year-round climate. One of the main features of the Festival is the spectacular Spring Parade with music bands, dance groups and a colorful parade of floats, competing in beauty and originality. During this festivity, homes lining the streets of Trujillo are decorated for the passing of the parade of floats which is led by a beauty queen: the Queen of Spring.