When it comes to welcoming spring, we stink

Here. Print this out and hold it up against the window.


It’s part of a Big Picture (Boston Globe) presentation of the festival of Holi. Hindus greet the turn of winter into spring with a splash of color in the festival.

In Turkey this week, Kurds celebrated the start of their New Year, Nowruz. It also marks the first day of spring, which occurred this week. Not that we’d know, of course.


In Valencia over the weekend, it was the last day of the ‘Fallas’ festival. Nobody seems to know the exact origin of the festival. But it’s believed to have something to do with the Middle Ages, when artisans put out their broken artifacts and pieces of wood that they sorted during the winter, then burnt them to celebrate the spring equinox.


In Nagatoro, Saitama Prefecture, Buddhist monks welcomed spring with the traditional “hi-watari”, or fire-walking ritual. Hundreds of people followed Buddhist ascetics and participated in fire walking for “purifying the mind and body” and to pray for good health and safety. And no snow.


You know what? Our customs stink.

We’re snowblind today when we should be having some sort of festival to blow the whiteness clean out of our retinas.

What’s the closest we got this week? A flower is expected to bloom at the Minnesota Zoo. Apparently, it’s famous for its rotting, death-like smell. That’s just the pick-me-up we need.