The Arrival of Spring

July 15, 2015

Just last weekend we got to “Spring forward,” meaning clocks were reversed an hour, making us all miss our much loved Sunday off of work and responsibility, losing an hour of our day. However, as much as Daylight Savings Time reversal may have made us groggy and cranky on Monday morning, the benefits of the onset of spring greatly outweigh the negatives. In the autumn season, when we “Fall back” by setting our clocks back an hour, gaining a much-appreciated hour on a Sunday, we have raining and damp weather, dark evenings, and cold temperatures to look forward to. Upon the arrival of Spring, we welcome the melting of the cold snow, the floral and bright scent in the air, and the sun setting later in our day so we can enjoy the outdoors well beyond the hours we get out of work. Spring is a time of positivity, happiness, adventure, outdoors, and beauty. It makes us willing to forget how we’ve hibernated in our homes beside the fire for the last several months, with the endless snow pounding down upon our roofs and blocking our front doors.

spring_relaxation1

In temperate atmosphere, like North America, four seasons divide the year, each with its own unique weather characteristics, ecological interactions, and hours of daylight. Autumn (or fall) marks the start of the September equinox and ends at the December solstice; winter begins on the December solstice, and ends at the March equinox. Spring takes over in March, at the equinox, and concludes on the June solstice to make way for summer. Summer is the time between the June solstice and September equinox. The change of the seasons are celebrated and appreciated, each providing their own unique attributes to a given person’s year. However, not all parts of North America can see the physical change of seasons. In the United States, it is the North East region of the country that most noticeably sees the extreme changes among summers hot beach weather and autumns cool and raining season of the foliage changing into bright and beautiful colors. The winter snowfall that buries our homes and cars and welcomes outside play adorned with furry coats and cozy mittens, before moving into the beloved spring. Then spring arrives, the season that most celebrates nature, the outdoors, sunshine, and comfortable weather matched with beautiful colors and deliciously fresh seasonal produce.

Spring is usually marked as beginning after the President’s Day holiday in February, and concluding on the Memorial Day holiday in May. Memorial day welcomes outdoor picnics and gathering of friends and families as the nation gets the day off from work and school. The day is taken to honor and remember the men and women who lost their lives defending the nation through the Armed Forces. In addition to Memorial Day, the other major national holiday is Easter, the day of Christian religions that commemorate and pray thanks to Jesus and celebrate his resurrection from the dead. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that comes after the March equinox, or first full moon. The Jewish holiday of Passover commemorates the freedom and liberation of the Jews from Egypt thanks to Moses and God; Passover is a 6-day event that takes place in early April.

The spring is sparse on holidays in comparison to the other seasons, yet it tends to bring forth the most social gatherings, as people are excited for warm temperatures and the ability to be comfortably outdoors and appreciate nature. Weekend barbeques, state parks, hiking trails, and outdoor sporting events become popular and carry us all the way through the end of summer to the Labor Day holiday where we prepare once again for the colder months. In the spring, families travel during the weeklong Spring Break holiday, falling mid-April, often taking road trips to nearby beach towns or heading further south to get a jump-start on hotter temperatures. College students enjoy the Spring Break week, usually at the end of March or early April, by traveling to places like Miami Beach, Cancun, or Cabo San Lucas, and the Caribbean for debauchery, partying, drinking, and taking part in beach and water-sports.

nature_lover1

Nature lovers and those with a green thumb will enjoy being outdoors and planting their flower or herb gardens. Landscaping the yard now that it is devoid of the leftover snow is forthright in people’s minds, as they want the grass to be fresh and green and the flowers to bloom in bright, full, beautiful blossoms for as long as they can. Young adults and teens take in music festivals, while food trucks park along the streets in major cities to feed walkers, bikers, and those just hanging out in a park for the day. Weekend trips to nearby cities are aplenty, as people have been saving money throughout the year to make the most of their spring and summer months, and the wedding season is in full swing. Spring being the most popular month in Western cultures to get married, often due to the ability to do so outdoors, near or on the water, or in lovely garden settings.

The spring season is generally marked as most Westerners’ favorite of the four seasons, appreciated most for the laid back lifestyle, ability to get outdoors and soak in some sun, and the excitement of the many social gatherings with family and friends in the weeks and months ahead.