Spring is almost here. The hours of light are growing apace and we can already see flowers blossoming around us. The sky is even bluer and the air conditioners are getting their routine service before it gets really hot.

This is a season of rebirth. A time for change or to re-blossom. Spring is all about good light — everything gets brighter and that calls for you to let go of the dull moments of the past few months and focus on positivity and light. It’s the season that generally makes everyone feel more motivated like experiencing a ‘fresh start’. We’ve looked at special ways to welcome spring around the world. We’ve also got tips on making space for the new season by decluttering your home and going green with seasonal planting. And, of course, we couldn’t forget a round-up of super spring events happening round town.

The coming of spring means many different things to various people around the world, as countries celebrate the beginning of this fruitful season with interesting traditions and festivities. Here are just a few of them.

HOLI IN INDIA
Holi is a major spring-time festival in India with people dancing on the streets in showers of paint and dye. Known as the Festival of Colours and celebrated during the first moon of March, the festival marks the beginning of spring and the end of winter, with Indians promising to remember the good in life and leave the bad behind.

HANAMI IN JAPAN
Hanami, or the famous Cherry Blossom Festival, is one of the most well-known seasonal events in the world. The traditional celebration is held to welcome the start of spring and appreciate the beauty of the Sakura flower, or the cherry blossom, known as the flower of spring. To celebrate, the people of Japan gather to feast under the wonderous pink trees, with picnics and parties scattering the parks. The trees are lit at night in a romantic festivity called Yozakura.

CIMBURIJADA IN BOSNIA
Cimburijada, or the festival of scrambled eggs, is celebrated on the first day of spring in the Bosnian town of Zeneca, either on the banks of the Bosna River or at the city park. The celebration begins with a traditional breakfast of a super-sized bowl of eggs for everyone. It is said that eggs were chosen as they symbolise a new life and a new beginning.

SECHSELÄUTEN IN SWITZERLAND
This celebration might seem more extreme than most. With the onset of spring and the end of winter, people in Switzerland celebrate with the burning of an effigy of a giant snowman called Böögg, made with old clothes and fireworks. They believe that the faster the snowman burns, the warmer the coming summer will be. The event, which lasts two days, includes a host of other activities, including parades and banquets as well as comedy.

MARZANNA IN POLAND
The polish version of Sechseläuten, Marzanna is a celebration of the coming of spring but instead of fire, they use water. Poles gather to make a doll of straw called Marzanna, the Goddess of Winter, Plague and Death, which they carry in a parade and then drown in a river.

SPRING EQUINOX IN MEXICO
Every year, around March 20, in the town of Teotihuacán, a preHispanic archaeological site, people wearing white with red scarves gather in celebration of the coming season, with many climbing up 360 steps to the apex of the Pyramid of the Sun, the largest structure in the area, outstretching their arms to gather the energy from the ball of fire in the sky.

BABA MARTA DAY IN BULGARIA
Baba Marta Day, or Grandma March Day, is a famous celebration in Bulgaria commemorating the beginning of the spring season. Bulgarian folklore suggests that ‘Grandma March’ was a grumpy old woman who always scowled at her two brothers. When she did smile, however, it is said that the sun began to appear above the horizon. Bulgarians today wear a petite white and red yarn accessory called a Martenitsa to mark their wish for good health and their happiness at the coming of the spring. They wear these adornments until the end of the month, after which they tie them mainly to fruit trees for good fortune.

THE NEAT BEAT
The days are getting longer and warmer, and spring cleaning is calling. We absolutely agree that throughout the year we tidy and spruce up certain areas of our homes, but there’s nothing quite like a spring decluttering — a deep clean after winter.
This goes beyond just vacuuming and mopping and actually feels more like letting go. Letting go of items in your closet that you’ve never worn; spotting expired spices and seasonings in the kitchen pantry; changing bed linens; and the introduction of a couple of bins and baskets for better organisation.
It feels a little daunting, but the key is to take one step at a time. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed it’s due to a lack of proper organisation and storage, but we have you covered. We have a couple of tips for you to kick-start the process.
Before we get into it, just remember it’s not about extra cabinets or closets for storage that can make your home look clean, as perfect as a Pinterest photo, it’s just sometimes you need to be better at prioritising certain elements and decluttering. And this is our promise, a decluttered home won’t only look better, but will reduce your stress levels and make you feel better.

ONE STEP AT A TIME
Don’t try to get it all done in a one go. Divide and conquer. First, take everything out of the drawers and off the shelves and surfaces. Then categorise what you truly value before putting everything back. You can classify the items not so cherished or valued anymore in three categories: discard, organise or store. The key is to be strong enough to discard whatever you think you don’t need anymore. This will make your decluttering process way easier. Allot time to each room and task — say two hours for your room, or 30 minutes for wardrobe classification. Find a way to donate anything you don’t need before recycling it.

STORAGE SOLUTIONS
Once you know how many things are going to stay — you’ll be able to acquire storage solutions that truly fit your needs. Don’t buy bins, baskets, racks and hooks before that. There are custom storage solutions for almost everything, explore your options.

ALL THOSE LINENS
The moment you enter a bedroom, the first thing you look at is the bedsheet and comforter. As spring is here, change your throw pillow covers and give your room a low-cost freshen up. If you have pillows that have gotten lumpy, it’s time to replace them. And, because winter throw blankets are too heavy for the spring — it’s time to put them away, perhaps covered and stored under the bed.

KICK OUT KITCHEN MESS
Thoroughly decluttering the kitchen is one of the best ideas since it is the most used space in the house. Keep the countertops clear and organise drawers one at a time. Check your stock of spices to see what needs to be trashed, replaced or has many duplicates. Look for the serving platters and dishes you’ve never used and replace them with the ones you’ve been using year-round. Next: remove anything chipped and any stained and mismatched plastic food storage containers. This is a good way to start!

MAKE A PHOTO FILE
After cleaning thoroughly and classifying your things — record a video or take photos of everything. It’ll give you an easily accessible record of where everything goes. Of course, you can’t photograph and see every single item — but it’ll be useful to give you a general flow of where everything goes and where and how to keep things for the long run.

OH, HOW GREEN!
Al fresco dining has been fun for the past few months and during that time of outdoor dining, what we really enjoyed was interacting with the greenery, plants and garden veggies. If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to begin prepping your summer garden and, with the right tools, and supplies you can have access to latent green fingers this spring, irrespective of whether you have access to a private garden or not. Let’s also be honest that you cannot call it an artistic, unique and well-appointed home without some breathing, growing trimmings. Plants. Gardening doesn’t offer instant fulfillment but it’s well worth the effort and the wait that follow. Here are a few tips for you.

SPACE AND SPOT
We understand that finding outdoor space might be hard but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fresh air, veggies or herbs perhaps. As long as you have good potting mix, you can grow small herbs in pretty much anything — even a tin but just remember to place it at a spot where it can get some natural sunlight off and on. Old ceramic vases and bowls can be a really good start to plant in as well. But as a general rule, always remember to opt for one bigger size of the container than you think you will need for any plant. If you have a planter large enough, it’ll give the plant space to grow properly and establish its unfurling beautiful leaves more effortlessly. Plant some lilies, since they’re perfect for containers, or dahlias and chrysanthemums can be good choices too. For lilies the best thing is they’re scented and if placed by the front door will make your exit and entry from home so much sweeter. However, if you have pets, make sure to choose non-toxic plants and make sure all containers provide adequate drainage.

GET YOUR HANDS ON HERBS
Edible herbs are the easiest to grow and require little effort. On the top of that, many of them smell pretty amazing. If their pots/ containers are placed in the window of your kitchen they’ll scent the entire space so well. We recommend you start with leafy herbs like basil, mint, parsley and cilantro, which are extremely good to grow in containers, both indoor and outdoor. The best thing about them is that they do not require tons of soil and their growth rate is pretty high — so you can pick and eat them regularly and it’ll encourage your gardening habit.

OUTDOOR SEEDING
You can start many seeds (lettuce, spinach, peas and carrots) outside or in your rooftop garden just about now. Prepare your soil by removing any weeds and topping it off with some fresh organic compost. You can get the seeds from any nursery nearby and plant them according to the instructions on the packet. Use a ruler to get it right and water everything thoroughly after planting. Keep soil moist. The most important thing is to visit them regularly, checking to see if they need water, weeding or anything else.

AROUND TOWN
Finally, now as Covid restrictions have eased and events are back on the social calendar, it makes the advent of spring all the more enticing. The weather is going to get warmer and you’ll hear lots of music in the air: somewhere, everywhere. There’s plenty on the horizon to feel excited about and you can hangout outside without masks on now. It’s a good departure from virtual events and a good arrival to an in-person setting. Everything is back in full…ish force and we’ve listed some unmissable events taking place this spring. They’ll define your energy for the rest of the year!

GRAND PRIX OF QATAR (MOTO GP)
From March 4 to March 6, it is time for some thrilling speed as the oldest motorsports championship in existence returns to Qatar for another year. The high-pitched sound of motorbikes roaring will take over the Losail Circuit Sports Club. The 2022 Grand Prix of Qatar is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular events on the MotoGP calendar. The action will take place at night under floodlights at the circuit, which sits around 30km outside Doha. All bikes are custom-made to be the fastest prototypes in the world.

QATAR MUSIC ACADEMY ANNUAL CONCERT
A call for music lovers! Rejoice and enjoy classical Arabic and Western music on March 12 and 13 at Katara Opera House as Qatar Music Academy (QMA) holds its Annual Concert. This is an opportunity to see the academy’s most talented students perform live on stage, providing music to suit everyone’s taste. Opened in 2011, QMA focuses on furthering musical excellence in Qatar and the region.

THE NUTCRACKER – MOSCOW BALLET LA CLASSIQUE
Following 2021’s sell-out performances of Swan Lake, Moscow Ballet La Classique will return to Al Mayassa Theatre at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) on March 24 and 25 to present the jewel of classical ballet, Tchaikovsky’s spectacular The Nutcracker. Founded in 1990, La Classique will take the audience on a journey back in time to the frost-covered, gas-lit world of young Clara, her beloved nutcracker doll and magician Drosselmeyer, with its artistic ballet mastery, lavish costumes and magnificent staging.

THE LAST OF DRIVE-IN CINEMA — LUSAIL
Yes, we agree that cool nights in Qatar are absolutely wonderful and one of the ways to enjoy them has been DFI Drive-in Cinema at Lusail, that was launched during Ajyal Film Festival 2020. But now. as we’re looking forward to the warmer days, the drive-in cinema will come to a close on March 31. So, before it’s too late, grab your popcorn and enjoy a wonderful experience watching screenings of different movies, right from the comfort of your car with friends or family.