The weather is looking slightly less dull than usual, there is the faintest scent of hay fever in the air and on almost every television advertisement there is a message about the latest medication you can take for allergies. What does all of this mean, I hear you ask? Well it means one thing and one thing for sure; the time has come for spring to return to the northern hemisphere. (If you haven’t realised the southern hemisphere is currently so unbelievably excited to be experiencing autumn again). Anyway, we here at the Sir Holiday team, were wondering how different early spring celebrations are to today’s celebrations and therefore set about tracking spring throughout history. Therefore, without any further ado, let’s get to it.
The earliest point that spring celebrations can be tracked to in history seems to be Ancient Greece, the astronomer Hipparchus has been identified as being the original astronomer to identify the biannual event of the sun hitting directly on the equator. However, it has been proven that for many thousands of years prior to this discovery that human cultures throughout the world had celebrated the end of the winter months. Early pagan cultures, and the Celts, have been found to celebrate the festival of Eostre. Eostre was an ancient fertility goddess, who was also associated with the coming of spring.
Many academics believe that early Christians in order to involve more pagans into Christian celebrations and create a sense of familiarity, the original Christians chose to include the original practises that would have been held for Eostre into Easter celebrations. However, it is not simply the western cultures who were fond of springtime celebrations, no, let’s travel to Asia and see how they were getting along. One such example of a spring celebratory tradition that stretches back is the annual Buddhist celebrations that take place around the start of spring for about a week. The celebrations tend to run for a week, and the theme is generally along the lines of the spreading of peace throughout the world.
Spring has often been associated with the harvesting of crops throughout the world, and many cultures often celebrated spring with harvest and agricultural based festivals. In modern day times, within the United States and other western nations, you can very often see gardening fairs, farmers markets and other agricultural affairs being held around this time of year. Oh, and don’t forget the spring cleaning bonanza that tends to hit people right between the eyes during the change of seasons as well.
Evidently, spring is a crucial time of the year in an agricultural sense due to the fact that this is the time in the northern hemisphere currently, when harvests are reaped and animals give birth. No wonder the early Christians chose to bring in the early pagan celebrations and combine them into secular Easter rituals and rites. If all else fails, why not grab a broom and a couple of bin bags and get on top of all of that spring cleaning?
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Farmer’s market link;