As a tribute to our diverse au pair pool, we want to share with you some fun and unique spring festivals that take place around the world. One of the best things about the au pair program is the opportunity to learn more about different cultures around the globe. We compiled some of those unique traditions, here are our favorites:
Thailand's Songkran Festival
Imagine a water fight with everyone in your city? That's what happens during the Songkran Festival in Thailand, which falls shortly after the spring equinox. There are several reasons for the water fight, one of the most popular is the idea that it represents the physical and spiritual cleansing that comes from the new year.
Semana Santa Festival in Mexico
Tied to the predominately Catholic religion in Mexico, the Semana Santa is an event celebrated across the country. It's not the only country to celebrate this event, but Mexico is one of the places that displays highly detailed reenactments of the Passion of Christ play. There is also the very popular tradition of breaking cascarones which are colored egg shells with confetti. The week of Semana Santa is also a great time for family and friends to gather together.
Las Fallas Festival in Spain
Las Fallas means "the fires" in Valencian so its no wonder that this five day celebration is a rowdy one! It includes the burning of wood saved all winter in celebration of spring. Before the symbolic wood is burned, it is shaped into the beautiful puppets and dolls that you see above. The official day of "burning" is March 19th when at midnight the whole community gathers together to watch the excitement. In addition to the puppets, there are lots of other activities including bullfights, pageants and more!
Washington DC's Cherry Blossom Festival
Back in 1912 the Mayor of Tokyo gifted the city of Washington D.C. three thousand beautiful cherry blossom trees. Located around the Tidal Basin and a few other surrounding areas, these will blossom in March or April every year. Visitors often come to the city during peak bloom season to view the beautiful sites.