Though the groundhog told us there would six more weeks of winter this year, most of us are already looking forward to spring holidays. Once Valentine’s Day has passed, it’s time to start looking forward to spring and all of the holidays that come along with that season. If your mother was anything like my mother, any little holiday would be reason to make a special meal and decorate the house, from Mardi Gras to Earth Day.
Whether you’re a teacher and just want to make sure your party bases are covered, or you’re just looking for a reason to have your friends over and celebrate, here are just some of the holidays coming up this spring and how you can start planning now for a great party.
If you’re not able to hit New Orleans for Mardi Gras, you can still have a great Fat Tuesday party in your own home. All you really need are Mardi Gras beads and purple, green, and yellow decorations. For a party for little kids, you can easily plan a mask-decorating party that will keep them occupied for ours, just perfecting their masks. Just get some plain masks, feathers, and sequins, and let the kids go to town. Once all the masks are done, you can have a little parade through the house.
For adults, Mardi Gras is all about purging demons and feasting and drinking before Lent begins. Having a few friends over and eating and drinking together is a great way to commemorate this fun spring holiday.
St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is another big drinking holiday for most adults. There may be a green-themed parade where you live, but if not, many pubs and bars are likely to be holding special St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. You can always don some green clothes, beads, and maybe even a comical leprechaun hat and head out to a bar, or you can call your friends over and host a traditional Irish meal and drink fest at your own home. Just make sure there’s plenty of green around!
Even if you’re not religious, Easter is still a great time to get together with your family and have a nice meal together. Especially if you’re not religious, Easter is largely a holiday for children, and hiding plastic eggs and setting up Easter decorations for a horde of children to enjoy as they search for the eggs is always fun, especially if, like my parents, hiding the eggs well enough so that it would take us months to find all of them was just part of the festivities.
Cinco de Mayo
While Cinco de Mayo may be a more popular holiday in the American southwest, there are plenty of people across the country that celebrate this holiday on a yearly basis. It’s a great time to visit one of the local Mexican restaurants, who will likely be having a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
This holiday commemorates Mexico’s victory over the French at the battle of Puebla, and in Mexican culture is often celebrated as a sort of independence day (though Mexican independence is actually celebrated on the 16th of September). In reality, this day is a time to remember both the defeats and the victories in Mexican history. Cultural celebrations are common, with dancing, great food, and lots of games. Many teachers use this opportunity to teach about Mexican history and culture.
Mother’s Day comes around every spring, and every spring, we scramble to find a suitable present for the women that have given us so much of their time and energy. According to our own mothers, here are some of the best Mother’s Day activities:
• Taking your mother out to lunch or dinner
• Someone else cooks the meals for the family
• A handmade gift
• Stories about your childhood and memories of your mother
• Getting many generations together to celebrate
• A small, thoughtful present
Most mothers don’t expect something grand and extravagant, preferring instead just to spend time with the family and to have a brief reprieve from some of the motherly duties they take upon themselves on a daily basis.
Earth Day is becoming more and more popular, as more and more people are becoming environmentally conscious. Many parks and recreation departments hold outdoor activities. These can range from tree planting to picking up litter in the park. An earth day party doesn’t just have to be manual labor, however. You can get all your friends together and have an earth-themed party.
While Earth Day doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a “normal” sort of party, it can still be fun to have a meal together and discuss weighty topics like climate change and recycling.
While this is another holiday that most people only celebrate if they are religious, you will likely have the chance to attend a Passover dinner this spring. Passover originates in Ancient Egypt and commemorates the last plague God sent to convince Pharaoh to release his Jewish slaves. Many Jewish people today eat a highly symbolic meal and follow the traditions laid out in the Old Testament for this sacred day.
April Fool’s Day
While not a true holiday like many of the others on this list, April Fool’s Day can be a fun day to play harmless, friendly pranks on your loved ones. It’s also the beginning of tax season—while these two events don’t have much to do with each other, they can be equally aggravating.