September 21st is officially the first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Spring certainly has arrived in Paraguay – some trees look like they exploded into bloom, flowers hanging from every branch and twig. Naturally the first day of spring is cause for celebration in Paraguay; today is “Día de la Juventud,” (Day of Youth). “Jóvenes,” or youths, celebrate by exchanging small gifts and having parties. It is also customary to recieve flowers from older family members.

In Asunción the Viceministerio de la Juventud is having a music festival all day in front of the Centro Cultural de la República El Cabildo (the pink building downtown – Avenida de la República between 14 de Mayo and Chile). The Municipality of Asunción has also organized the four day “Primavera de la Guitarra” (Spring of Guitars) festival featuring national and international guitar players.

If you no longer qualify as a “youth” today is the day you should celebrate the energy and optimism of Paraguay´s younger generation, refraining from complaints about “kids these days” … even though their hair can be a little weird!