Why do you think people have festivals to celebrate the arrival of spring?
Which tradition do you think is a better way to predict when spring will arrive, Punxsutawney Phil or the Böögg? Why?
In the article, the writer explains how Sechseläuten, Zurich, Switzerland's annual spring festival, began and evolved over time. How do you think the festival will continue to change in the future?
During Sechseläuten, Zurich, Switzerland's annual spring festival, townspeople use dynamite to blow up an 11-foot-tall snowman known as the Böögg. In what way, if any, do you think the growing threat of terrorist attacks could impact this annual tradition?
- Invite students to identify springtime festivals and traditions they've heard of and know a bit about. Encourage them to share what they know.
- Have students brainstorm a list of things they like-and think are worth celebrating-related to spring. If necessary, prompt students to consider the weather, holidays, sports or even hobbies they can't pursue until spring arrives. Then have them make a list of local springtime traditions.
- Instruct students to conduct research to learn more about springtime festivals and traditions around the world. Encourage students to identify their favorite ways of celebrating the new season.
- Based on what they learned, give students time to plan a hometown festival that combines their own interests, local traditions and an international way of celebrating the new season.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
What happens when ocean currents and air masses interact? Find out in the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s Weather Lab! Take on the role of a meteorologist by predicting spring weather and how people should dress for it in particular regions of the United States.
Every spring in Washington, D.C., thousands of visitors flock to our nation’s capital to savor the beauty of cherry blossoms, representing a celebration of the coming seasons as well as the friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. This selection of music from Smithsonian Folkways offers a soundtrack to the annual celebration.
Planning is an important and sometimes overlooked step in creating a successful garden. But if you plan well, you can grow a bountiful garden in any season. To learn how—in spring, summer or fall—read these tips from the Smithsonian.
Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn how the Sami Easter Festival blends old and new traditions in Lappland’s northern reaches.
In this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, students will explore how cultures commemorate people and events. They will explore how commemorations are created through music, painting, sculpture, photography, architecture and poetry. Then they will work in collaborative groups to create a commemoration celebrating a person or an event of their choice and host a festival to share their work with others in the school or community.
Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn why some peculiarities in how the Earth moves give us a shorter spring but make summer a little bit longer each year.