to our "Celebrating Spring" Issue
I chose the theme for this issue last fall. Who'd have thought it would be such a brutal winter? We're all probably ready to celebrate the arrival of warmer weather.
If you write renku, you'll know that "human observances" is a topic category within each season. I use the "Yuki Teikei Season Word List" and Bay Area Saijiki, which include April Fools Day, Ash Wednesday, Boys Day, César Chávez Day, Dolls Festival, Easter, Lent, Mavericks, May Day, Memorial Day, Mothers Day, Palm Sunday, Passover, Saint Patrick’s Day and Valentines Day. A browser search on "spring celebrations" will return more: Aluth Avurudda, Bihu, Carnival, Holi, Nowruz, Songkran and Tết to name a few. In some cultures, spring marks the new year. and many spring festivals can be traced to ancient rites that antedate the arrival of Buddhism, Christianity or Islam in their regions.
This has made me much more aware of how the progression of seasons is integral to who we are as humans.The eighteen responses to this issue's Spring Festivals Challenge were varied and interesting. Some people wrote to the prompt; others wrote of personal celebrations, and a few responded with renku-like scent-linking that explores unexpected or even darker aspects of seasonal imagery.
As for the rest of the issue, the Traditional Haiga section, we're honoring the haiku Barbara Ann Taylor submitted for Mary's origami painting. We also have a concrete haiku by Anita Virgil in Experiments, a Collaborative series by Beverley George, Mariko Kitakubo and Ron C. Moss, a Featured selection of altered book by Renée Owen and a second installment of our Haiga Workshop series on copyright.
Enjoy the issue. I hope you find it inspiring and thought provoking. Many thanks to all our participating writers, artists, resident staff and readers for making Haigaonline the longest running internet-based journal devoted to haiga. May your spring be balmy breezes and many wildflowers—and for those of you in the southern hemisphere