Discover three spring traditions around the world and ideas for world languages classroom activities.
Spring is a wonderful time of celebration, and cultures around the world have unique traditions and ways of welcoming the new season. Here are three fun highlights to share with students in your world languages classes that they can compare with their own cultural traditions and spring celebrations you are already sharing in class. Scroll to the bottom to see ideas for classroom use!
Also known as the festival of colors, the Holi Festival in Northern India is one of the most colorful festivals in the world. It is most widely known for everyone wearing white and throwing colored powders and waters on one another, but celebrations also include decorations, symbolic bonfires, singing, and dancing to ward off negativity and welcome the bright new season. Holi originated as a Hindu celebration but is now celebrated by people of all nationalities and backgrounds.
Songkran Water Festival
The Songkran Water Festival in Thailand is known as the “world’s biggest water fight.” This festival takes place over several days after the spring equinox in order to welcome in the traditional Thai New Year. The splashing and throwing of water on everyone and everything symbolizes cleansings and blessings.
In Bulgaria, Martenitsa bracelets symbolize the first signs of spring. Red and white bracelets are exchanged as gifts on March 1st to offer good fortune and are worn as everyone awaits spring. With the sign of the first stork or bud of a tree, the bracelet is removed and tied onto a tree to bring fertility for the new spring growth.
Use these fun pictures of traditions and celebrations around the world as context for target language activities, such as discussing colors or what people are doing. Click below for full-size versions of the images above.
Ask these questions in any language!
Step 1: Share the three springtime traditions above with your students.
Step 2: Assign students to research springtime traditions in the target culture and prepare a paragraph and image to share with the class, using the examples above as models. Your students might even prepare their paragraphs in the target language!
Step 3: To get you started, consider assigning your students to research spring traditions in...
Step 4: Students share their projects in class, in small groups, or on Flipgrid.
Happy spring and happy teaching!
Jennifer Kilmore is a veteran world language teacher with a background in in-person, hybrid, and virtual instruction. She is very involved in professional language organizations and is a member of American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL’s) Leadership in Leadership Initiative for Language Learning. She is passionate about the lasting positive influences that language learning has on students.Explore more related to this author