Many people may consider Spring Break to be a trivial occurance, just a big party by students who have nothing better to do with their time and money. But this is NOT SO! Spring Break actually is an established cultural tradition among college students, an annual event with its own sets of rituals, a piece of 20th century Americana.
Some argue that Spring Break goes back farther and deeper than that--that it is the modern manefestation of an age-old rite in which young people celebrate the return of the Spring. Thus, those who partake in Spring Break are actually adding their touch to the annals of the Spring Break tradition. The following is a brief recap of the history of Spring Break to provide current-day participants with an understanding of the footsteps in which they follow.
Some people trace the roots of modern-day Spring Break back to the ancient rituals of the Greeks and Romans preceeding the birth of Christ. Back then, men and women, particularly those who were of "mate-able" age, welcomed the return of spring, the season of fertility, in rituals celebrating Dionysus (Greek)/ Bacchus (Roman), the god of wine. Such rituals featured drinking and dancing until participants were in an altered consciousness, open to the irrational calls of this god of earthly pleasures.
The advent of Christianity put a stop to such pagent rituals, since the new, singular God was seen as an advocate of spiritual rather than worldly discoveries. Nonetheless, many believe that the essence of Dionysus/Bacchus lives on, and that Spring Break is one of the current incarnations of that drive in human beings.