Friday, March 23, 2018

Insight: The sweet celebrations of spring by Lorraine Glowczak

At 7:02 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 20, it happened as expected! The vernal equinox that opens the door to the first day of spring finally arrived. As the days get longer and dreams of warm days ahead engulf us, we naturally shift our energy from winter’s slow pace to a more upbeat stride. 
This energetic shift causes many celebrations worldwide. In fact, many countries have been celebrating this time of year for centuries. For example, in Switzerland they are so ready to be done with the dark days of winter, they burn a snowman on a stick as soon as the first flower pops its pedals from the fresh earth. 

In Japan, people welcome spring by hosting parties under the trees of the famous cherry blossoms. They even pay attention to a “bloom forecast” so they can make their plans of festivity. 

Large groups of people will travel to a town in Bosnia, for the "Festival of Scrambled Eggs”. In this city, scrambled eggs are cooked in huge pots and handed to all who have come to celebrate -for free. Much like Easter here in the U.S. the egg symbolizes new life and the birth of a new season.

Then of course, we have Easter here in the U.S. which, depending upon your personal perspective, either includes bonnets and a sunrise service or Easter Bunny and chocolates. Both ways are definitely fun - but here in New England, its people have their own copyright on the celebration of spring by reveling in sugar maple sap. 

After the trees have been tapped and the sugary goodness drips from the bark (when the daytime temperatures rise above freezing and nighttime temperature fall below freezing) - this not only produces that auburn liquid we all love, but it brings the community together to embrace the days in front of us. 

This natural miracle food is worth the celebrations that will occur this weekend at various farms in the Windham and Raymond Communities. There will be plenty of “Maine Maple Weekend” activities such as games, treats, pancakes, sugarbush tours, music, and animals to visit; all providing relief from a long, dark and cold winter. (Be sure to check out pages 12-13 in our print edition to find a farm location near you.)

How sweet it is - that first taste of spring and, how much sweeter to celebrate - Maine style!

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