Holidays of Spring
by Wladyslaw Podkowinski, 1892
March 19-21: Spring EquinoxThe spring equinox is the first official day of the spring season. It's called the "equinox" because daytime and nighttime are of equal length on this date--the same is true of the autumn equinox in September.
March 25: Lady DayLady Day is the Christian Feast of the Annunciation, marking the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus. Along with Michaelmas in September, Christmas in December, and Midsummer in June, it is one of four traditional quarter days that divided the year and marked a change in season. Lady Day marks the beginning of spring, was historically the beginning of the new tax year in the United Kingdom, and was a traditional time to begin or end contracts and farm tenancies.
March 22-April 25: EasterEaster is a Christian holiday marking the resurrection of Jesus. Because it falls during spring, modern Easter celebrations incorporate springtime imagery such as rabbits, lambs, and eggs. Some popular Easter traditions include dyeing boiled eggs in bright colors and receiving Easter baskets filled with chocolate and candy treats.
April 23: St. George's DaySt. George's Day is the Christian feast day of St. George, the patron saint of England. In medieval England the day was marked as any other saint's feast, but in the nineteenth century a movement began to celebrate English culture and heritage on St. George's Day. April 23 is also the birthday and death day of celebrated English playwright and poet William Shakespeare.
See The Theater for more on Shakespeare.
May 1: May DayMay Day is a traditional European celebration of spring. While May Day grew from several non-Christian religious celebrations and later became associated with the Christian feast day of St. Walburga in some cultures, May Day on the whole is not a religious holiday but rather a secular (or non-religious) spring festival. Some May Day traditions include dancing around maypoles and giving May baskets of flowers to friends and family.
See Spring Songs for more on May Day and how to make May baskets.