Spring is a joyful time emphasized by birth, rebirth, and warmer weather. It also marks the beginning of the agricultural year. Nations and communities throughout the world honor this special time by celebrating and observing the bounty that is spring. The following are 5 different observances during the spring months:
Spring Equinox at the Kukulcan Pyramid (Chichen Itza, Mexico)
Throughout the year people from all over the world come to the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza; it has always been known as an enigmatic place shrouded in mystery and folklore. The events during the Spring Equinox are most likely responsible for the city’s mystical reputation. At approximately 4pm on the first day of spring, the afternoon sun shines upon the Kukulcan Pyramid in such a way that it reveals a golden, feather serpent (seen at 0:14 in the video above). The serpent that appears is said to be the revelation of the god Kukulcan of whom the pyramid is dedicated. It is thought to be an honor to behold this glowing, winged snake. Visitors with a car rental in Mexico have the freedom to avoid the crowds by heading out a day before or a day after the equinox as Kukulcan reveals himself on those days as well.
The Full Moon Party (Koh Phangan, Thailand)
Each month on the full moon, thousands of people gather on the small coastal island of Koh Pangan in southern Thailand. The parties that happen in April and May are especially exciting as it is a time to bring in the warm season with a bang. World renowned DJs spin some of the hottest music on the techno scene as party-goers paint their bodies and garnish themselves with glow sticks. Among the array of activities in which you can engage, flaming limbo and jumping through fiery hoops are especially exhilarating. The warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand are yet another perk of the Full Moon Party as people wade among the crashing waves well into the night.
Spring Equinox at the Temple of the Seven Dolls (Dziblichanltun, Mexico)
The Mayan’s advanced knowledge of numbers and stars influenced their monuments and architecture. The ancient civilization of Dziblichanltun is yet another fascinating place on the Yucatan Peninsula where you can see more of what the Mayans have left behind. Once buried under an ancient pyramid, the Temple of the Seven Dolls was not discovered until the above structure eroded away to nothing. During the eighth century AD, locals unearthed the temple and blessed it with the burial of seven clay dolls. Though it was highly regarded among natives for centuries, it wasn’t until the 20th century when archeologist noted that on the first dawn preceding the spring equinox, the sun shines directly through the hollowed center of the mysterious monument. Today, crowds gather each year to bear witness to this special and curious ruin.
Yeouido Spring Flower Festival (Seoul, Korea)
There are only a few days during spring when the Seoul’s 1,700 King cherry trees erupt into full blossom. The Yeouido Spring Flower Festival marks this very special occasion as the city of awakens from its winter slumber. Over 90,000 plants and flowers are in bloom along the shores of the Hangang River, setting a beautiful springtime scene as festival-goers enjoy the season’s mild weather. Hundreds of vendors set-up shop along Yeouiseo-ro Street, offering everything from paintings to authentic Korean street food. Art exhibitions, street performers, and formal concerts create a colorful atmosphere as visitors stroll along the riverside promenades and sidewalk gardens.
Songkran Festival (Thailand)
The highly anticipated Songkran Festival is the most widely celebrated festival in Thailand. Traditionally, Songkran marks the New Year, a time to bless your family and neighbors by sprinkling water onto their hands as well as onto pictures and depictions of Buddha. Times have changed. Instead of engaging in a little harmless sprinkling, entire communities burst into uninhibited frenzies of water throwing. Pails, squirt guns, and anything that holds water can, and will be used to indiscriminately dowse people in the streets. Colorful costumes, water spewing elephants, and lively music set a playful scene as festival-goers saturate their loved ones as well as those whom they do not know.