One of the rites of early spring here is Dragon Day on the Cornell Campus. Every year, on the Friday before spring break, first year architecture students create and parade a dragon across campus, to be met by a phoenix constructed by engineering students.
In the past, the dragon was ceremoniously burned on the Arts Quad. This year, in order to comply with environmental regulations limiting open burning to wood and agricultural wastes — the dragon was spared the pyre. Instead a wood and straw nest was offered up to the gods.
I’m fond of Dragon Day not just because it’s a harbinger of spring, but because it gives the students a bit of a creative outlet mid-semester: According to the Cornell Chronicle, “Dozens of costumed student revelers — in outfits including orange highway cones, the bunny from “Donnie Darko,” and a lithe reptilian figure in head-to-toe green Spandex” joined the parade.
Wikiepedia has some great images of Dragon Days past, going back to the ’20s. University Photo pulled together a video montage that captures the spirit of this year’s event. Below are some screen captures from the Cornell.edu website celebrating recent Dragon Days.