Spring is not just about all those days between March 20 and June 21, Spring is a whole season of rebirth that we can see and feel, a season during which we celebrate everything that grows, from grass to flowers to trees, from babies to animals to love… and everything in between.
Sometimes we have to take a break from the harsh realities of the news bringing us all the horrors of each new day’s worth of what is going on in and around the world. It can be hard to escape if we never turn off the TV or switch to a channel not reporting what we wish we didn’t have to hear.
Fortunately, Spring is filled with days that we in this country have chosen to set aside or just acknowledge to focus on something that could be considered uplifting, even if its very purpose in coming to our attention was for its more serious side.
Although March has no particular holidays once Spring (March 20) has sprung — unless you include Doctors’ Day, celebrated on March 30 — April picks right up with April Fools Day (Practical Jokes Day) to offer its light touch and a smile to those who get caught up in it.
The original Earth Day, first celebrated on March 21 (1970) because it is based on the precise moment of the Spring Equinox, has given way to the more widely celebrated International Earth Day, celebrated on April 22. Some also recognize Administrative Professionals Day on April 22, acknowledging all those in the workplace who may otherwise feel invisible during their normal workaday week. Income Tax Day, April 15 (originally on March 15), which can turn one’s smile into a frown, allows people to commiserate with each other about how they owe so very much, and how unfair it all is, and yet somehow they prefer to continue living in this country and paying those taxes — even while complaining about them — to moving away. And then there’s Arbor Day, the last Friday in April, which honors the planting and growing of trees. And for those who remember our third president, we have Thomas Jefferson’s birthday on April 13 (1743).
May starts out with Law Day and Loyalty Day, always on the 1st of the month. No one seems to link them together, but if anyone has a really loyal lawyer, wouldn’t that be a good day on which to tell him or her?
And Cinco de Mayo has become very popular on the 5th of May, of course. This year we also have National Teachers Day on the 5th, then Nurses Day on the 6th, and the really big one, Mother’s Day, on the 10th of May. We all had a mother, even if we didn’t get to know her or don’t have her with us any longer; and we all know at least one mother, I’m sure. Celebrate the joy of motherhood with some mother somewhere.
There are many “movable” religious holidays in Spring, from Palm Sunday, Passover, and the National Day of Prayer, to Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Ascension Day, 40 days after Easter. These holidays commemorate the sufferings, death and glorious resurrection of Jesus, and both the day God gave the Torah to the entire nation of Israel —
on Shavuot, so many days after Passover, celebrating their freedom from bondage. Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) stays put on April 15, and although most of Ramadan falls in summer, it starts on the 18th of June this year, still in Spring. This annual observance of fasting is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days, based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths, and it is for purification purposes.
There are also many patriotic or more somber days to take note of during Spring: There is VE (Victory in Europe) Day, still commemorated on May 8, Peace Officers Memorial Day, which came into being under President Kennedy, on May 15; Armed Forces Day, this year on May 16; National Maritime Day on May 22; and Memorial Day on May 25 — always the last Monday in May.
D-Day is barely remembered these days, but that is still on the actual day, June 6 (1944). And finishing up the days of note in Spring brings us up to Flag Day, on June 14.
So whether we prefer somber, silly or serious, Spring has it all. We need to remember the past to not repeat our mistakes, keep true to our religious traditions if we feel so inclined, learn from others as we acknowledge the days that matter to them, and look for new hope in the days to come as we begin another new season of rebirth and Spring!