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Celebrate Spring with seasonal traditions and spring holidays.

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Spring Holidays

earth day - earth view from space
Earth Day
mardi gras mask graphic
Mardi Gras
Lent
blue easter egg graphic
Easter
April Fool's Day, jester graphic
All Fools' Day
May Day flower basket
May Day
Mothers day cameo clip art
Mothers Day
Cinco de Mayo clip art graphic
Cinco de Mayo

Vernal Equinox: March 20 or 21

The vernal ("spring") equinox ("equal night") occurs on or around March 21, when the sun is directly over the equator. Marking the beginning of spring, this day has inspired many rituals celebrating the return of warmth, sunshine, and renewed life in the northern hemisphere.

Mardi Gras

by Lee Hansen

Mardi Gras season begins on the 12th day of Christmas - January 6, but the final day of partying is always 47 days before Easter, on the day before the start of Lent, or Ash Wednesday. This famous and ancient holiday is also known as "Fat Tuesday." On Fat Tuesday, Christians end their partying; the next day is Ash Wednesday, the first day of a 46 day fast that lasts until Easter. In Europe and other nations around the world, the season is also known as Carnival (Carnivale, Karneval).

In New Orleans, Lousiana (USA) the most famous of Mardi Gras (literally "Fat Tuesday) celebrations takes place every year - with parties, festivities, merriment and parades that push the limits of propriety on everything from food and drink to attire and frivolity. Many people plan a Mardi Gras party during the month of February or March to coincide with Fat Tuesday celebrations or Carnival.

 

Fastnacht Day

In Pennsylvania-German culture, Fastnacht Day is a day to feast on doughnuts. It's celebrated on Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday - the day before Lent gegins. Fat Tuesday is the day when people eat many many "FastNachts" - special Fast Night potato doughnuts without holes - in preparation for Lent when these foods are typically given up until Easter. Historically, Pennsylvania Germans used up all the fat and sugar they had on hand before the Lenten fast by making these yeast-raised potato doughnuts and eating them with syrup. YUM!

Learn More About FastNacht Celebrations

Masquerade

Mardi Gras celebrants party in costume - masquerade balls and parades are a major part of the holiday - wearing traditional/official Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold, to represent justice, faith, and power respectively. Bead necklaces, feathers, and shiny fabrics are hallmarks of Mardi Gras holiday costumes.

Mardi Gras party printable games, click to shop

Mardi Gras Games Pack by Print Games Now

Earth Day - April 22 (originally celebrated on the Vernal Equinox)

Since the energy crisis of the 1970's, Earth Day has been a worldwide day of celebration focusing on ecology, conservation, and protection of our environment. Earth Day occurs on or around April 22 each year, and celebrations focus on renewable energy, preserving natural resources, recycling and changing global climate issues.

Click here to visit the Pastiche Earth Day Holiday Section

Ostara - the origin of Easter Eggs

One ancient holiday associated with the vernal equinox was Ostara, a celebration honoring the Saxon lunar goddess Eostre. According to myth, Eostre once rescued a wounded bird, whose wings had become frozen by the cold, by changing her into a hare who could more easily survive the winter.

happy easter clip artIn keeping with her avian origins, the transformed creature was still able to lay eggs; she expressed her gratitude to the goddess by decorating those eggs and giving them to her. Missionaries adapted Ostara traditions for Easter in the hopes of converting pagans to Christianity.

reprinted from ClipArt.com


Easter Fun at Pastiche Family Portal

May 1 - A Celebration of Spring, and Much More

May is a month of many spring celebrations - May Day; Beltane, Children's Day (Japan); Memorial Day (USA); and Lei Day (Hawaii/USA) plus many other special days. Click here to learn more about May 1 holidays.

Cinco de Mayo - May 5

Have a party to celebrate Cinco de Mayo - May 5. Make a fiesta meal with these great recipe ideas. Hang a pinata for party goers to play and get prizes and treats.

Cinco de Mayo Pages - clip art, coloring, recipes

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