Celebrating Spring at Nomen Global.

One of the most beautiful seasons in Provo, Utah, is spring.  The mountains are still covered with pure white snow, but in the valleys the snow is all gone, and daffodils and tulips are pushing their way up from the cold, wet ground to provide a splash of color to the background of budding trees and shrubs.  The birds whistle and chirp from the bare tree branches, as if impatient for the warm weather and the full shade to return.  The talk turns to "spring fever" and "spring tonic" in households all over Provo.  And hard-working housewives have started their "spring cleaning" rituals, taking out rugs to beat the dust out of them, and scrubbing down wooden floors and painted walls with pine-scented cleaner.
Nomen Global Language Centers feels the spirit of spring as well.  They are holding a Spring Fling Festival on Monday morning, April 7th.  Students will participate in several games to win points for Easter Eggs.  One of the teachers, Ms. Varia Herring, is also going to give a brief explanation of some of the more interesting traditions associated with spring and with Easter.  In case you can't be there to attend, here are a few of the customs and traditions associated with spring and with Easter in the United States:

  • The Easter Bonnet.  On Easter Sunday, women traditionally wear the fanciest and brightest hats that they can make or buy to church services.  Afterwards, if the weather is nice, they and their families will stroll up and down the streets and plazas to show off their headpieces.
  • The Easter Ham.  Families will gather together on Easter Sunday to eat a huge ham, usually prepared with cloves and pineapple rings.  
  • The Easter Basket.  On Easter Sunday morning parents will present wickerwork baskets to their children, filled with chocolate Easter bunnies, marshmallow chicks, and an assortment of flavored jelly beans.  
  • Coloring eggs is one of the most cherished of all childhood activities associated with spring and with Easter.  Many families will boil the eggs first, and then, after they are decorated and admired, they will be eaten.  Or else the eggs will be hollowed out and the egg whites will be used to make angel food cake.
  • Since 1886 the White House has hosted an Easter Egg Roll, to which hundreds of local school children are invited, for a chance to roll Easter eggs with a long-handled spoon and meet the First Family of the United States.  
  • Spring Tonic.  In pioneer days, before fresh fruit and vegetables were available in markets year round, many people became ill from malnutrition at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, before any greenstuffs were available. This was especially true for children. Through trial and error, families came up with "spring tonic' recipes to relieve the malnutrition.  Most of these homemade recipes included a strong jolt of alcohol, in the form of whiskey or brandy, along with whatever fresh herbs, spices and green plants were available in early spring.  These tonics also included a dollop of sulfured molasses.  This tradition has died out over the years, since fresh produce is now available year round.  Although some families still insist on dosing themselves with homemade spring tonics -- usually as an excuse to down a good snort of booze!  
  • Spring Cleaning.  This springtime tradition has been dreaded by boys and girls for over two-hundred years!  As soon as the snow disappears and the days warm up, housewives have their husbands take out all the rugs and hang them outside, where the children are given wire beaters to swat the rugs until all the winter dust and grime has come out of them.  While that is going on, the housewife gets on her hands and knees to scrub the floors and then the painted walls, with some strongly scented cleaner like Pinesol or Mr. Clean.  In the hurly burly of today's world, and with many American women out in the workplace, Spring Cleaning is often no more than the hiring of a cleaning company to come in and do all the work that the family simply hasn't got time to do.  But even the busiest American working woman still finds time on weekends to do a little Spring Cleaning -- even if it's only cleaning the fishbowl! 

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