Spring festivals

2012-08-31 08:06

Birds are tweeting, whiffs of jasmine and peach blossom are floating in the air, tentative floaty dresses are making their appearance and people's complexions have taken on a fresh glow.

Hmmm, yes, the pretty season officially arrives tomorrow and definitely deserves as much celebration as possible.

Check out these awesome spring festivals happening across the country over the next month, and a few funny ones that happen elsewhere in the world at different times.

Feel free to add suggestions in the comment section below.

Fouriesburg Spring Festival, 1 September 2012

While nearby neighbour, Ficksburg, may be famous for their Cherry festival, Fouriesburg is quickly catching up with revelries, as their spring festival is set to take place for the third time this year. 
With live folk and country performances, loads of food stalls, walks through the newly blossoming cherry orchards, organic farm tours and all sorts of delightful kids activities and games, it seems as though the town is more than ready to welcome the colours, scents and sounds of Spring.
The event will culminate in an evening performance by one of South Africa's top stand-up comedians.

Entry: free

More info: contact the Fouriesburg Info Centre on 058 223 0429 or 079 897 1669

Botriviera festival, Bot River, 1 - 2 September 2012

Drink yourself pink! That's the tagline of Bot River's annual festival that not only welcomes Spring, but also celebrates this quaint wine route's penchant for pretty pink Rosé.

This festival is for wine lovers, nature lovers and families to get together for the good-time event of the year and sees revellers hopping between the selection of hidden gem wine farms. Participating wine farms will be marked by a pink wine barrel at the entrance.

If a whole day of drinking hasn't satisfied your party craving, head on over to the Bot Rivier hotel on

Saturday evening for a good boogie.

Entry: free

Times: Participating wine farms will be open from 11:00 - 17:00 on Saturday and Sunday.

More info: contact Melissa Nelsen on +27 (0)83 302-6562

Magoebaskloof Spring Festival, 22 - 30 September 2012

Limpopo isn't just all baobabs and wild jungles, oh no! The Magoebaskloof spring festival shows off the finer side of gardening with blossoms a-plenty and a special orchid show from the 24th onwards.

The festival takes place at the Magoebaskloof Hotel and in the historic village of Haenertsburg and offers a refreshing blend of flowers, crafts, good food and fun for the kids.

There will also be a whole array of outdoor activities to participate in, such as horse riding, mountain biking, picnicking, bird watching and forest exploration.

Entry: Free

For more info: Contact Linda Miller on +27 (0)15 276-1531 / +27 (0)82 575-5738

Hogsback Spring festival

Photo: Hogsback Times

Head to the fantasy-like Eastern Cape town of Hogsback for a celebration of gorgeous gardens tended by ordinary people.

The festival is hosted by the Hogsback Garden Club and allows visitors to explore beautiful backyards of participating residents. Arrangements are made telephonically prior to a visit and a map will be given to festival-goers for guidance.

A wide variety of exotic plants such as rhododendrons, azaleas, irises, and trees such as Japanese Cherry, Japanese Maples, Tulip Tree, and Dogwoods will be on show, while indigenous forest trails and waterfalls are sure to attract the more adventurous souls.

Entry: Free, but you may have to pay for different activities.

More info: Lynn Johnston +27 (0)45 962-1192

Famous spring festivals around the world

Holi, India

Photo: Princetonol

Colour, colour and more colour! That's what the traditional Hindu spring festival of Holi is all about. It is primarily observed in India, Bangladesh,Pakistan, Nepal, and countries with large Indic diaspora. Holi celebrations normally involve a lot of dance, food, music and most famously the tossing of colourful powder. The festival has its origins in Gujarat.

If this sounds like you're kind of party, keep your eyes peeled for the Holi festival that's set to take place in Cape Town sometime this year.

Cherry Blossom festival, Japan

Photo: Wikipedia

Japan celebrates the entire season of the cherry blossoms, which normally falls between February and April. All over Japan festivals are held which include food and, at night, beautiful lanterns.

The viewing of cherry blossoms is called Hanami in Japanese and traditionally involved aristocracy reveling in their beauty, then writing poems. These days things are a bit more upbeat, as all sections of society gather under the pink branches with home-cooked meals and happy hearts.

Las Fallas, Valencia

Photo: Valencia City guide

Taking place in the sprawling Spanish city of Valencia, Las Fallas is nothing short of a weird combination of Guy Fawks and Mardi Gras.

For a few days in March, normal city life is turned on its head as plaster and cardboard statues known as ninots satirising the year's events are marched through the streets, paella competitions play themselves out on the pavement and bull fights keep the adrenaline flowing.

On the last night of the festival, the nintos are filled with fireworks and set alight on the stroke of midnight.

Songkran water festival, Chiang Mai

Photo: Language Corps Asia

Falling on the dates of the old Thai New Year, Songkran is a cleansing festival that starts with a country-wide spring-clean and ends with an almighty water fight. On April 12th, old items are thrown out of houses and burned to avoid bad luck, and on the 13th offerings are made to statues of Buddha at the local wat.

The Buddha statues are then washed with perfumed water, after which people whip out water pistols, balloons and hosepipes to get the fun rolling.

Read more on:    travel south africa

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