The Full Wiki

Spring (season): Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Colorful spring garden flowers

Spring is one of the four temperate seasons, the transition period between winter and summer. Its days are close to twelve hours long with increasing day length, as it occurs near the time of an equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, spring runs from March into June, and in the Southern Hemisphere it runs from September into December. Spring is also the tropical cyclone season in both hemispheres, although it is delayed longer in the north Atlantic Ocean than the other ocean basins.

Contents

Definition

Meteorologists generally define four seasons in many climatic areas, winter, spring, summer and autumn (or fall). These are demarcated by the values of their average temperatures on a monthly basis, with each season lasting three months. The three warmest months are by definition summer, the three coldest months are winter, and the intervening gaps are spring and autumn. Spring, when defined in this manner, can start on different dates in different regions. In most of Northern Hemisphere locations, spring occurs during the months of March, April and May[1]. (Summer is June, July, August; Autumn is September, October, November; Winter is December, January, February.) The vast majority of Southern Hemisphere locations will have opposing seasons with spring in September, October and November.[2]

Astronomically, the vernal equinox (usually 20 March in the Northern Hemisphere, and 22 September in the Southern Hemisphere), should be the middle of spring (based on the angle of the sun and insolation) and the summer solstice (usually 21 June in the Northern Hemisphere and 21 December in the Southern Hemisphere) should be mid-summer (because the sun is at its highest) but daytime temperatures lag behind insolation by several weeks because the earth and sea have thermal latency and take time to warm up. Some cultures, such as those who devised the Celtic and East Asian calendars, call the spring equinox mid-spring, but others (especially in the USA and sometimes in England) regard it as the "first day of spring". For most temperate regions, signs of spring appear long before the middle of March, but the folklore of 21 March being the "first day of spring" persists, and 21 June as the "first day of summer" is common in the USA. In South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, spring begins on 1 September, and has no relation to the vernal equinox.[3]

In East Asian Solar term, spring begins on 4 February and ends on 5 May. Similarly, according to the Celtic tradition, which is based solely on daylight and the strength of the noon sun, spring begins in early February (near Imbolc or Candlemas) and continues until early May (Beltane).

The phenological definition of spring relates to indicators, the blossoming of a range of plant species, and the activities of animals, or the special smell of soil that has reached the temperature for micro flora to flourish. It therefore varies according to the climate and according to the specific weather of a particular year.

Events

A blooming Sour Cherry in spring

In recent decades season creep has been observed, which means that many phenological signs of spring are occurring earlier in many regions by a couple of days per decade.

In spring, the axis of the Earth is increasing its tilt toward the Sun and the length of daylight rapidly increases for the relevant hemisphere. The hemisphere begins to warm significantly causing new plant growth to "spring forth," giving the season its name. Snow, if a normal part of winter, begins to melt, and streams swell with runoff. Frosts, if a normal part of winter, become less severe. Temperate climates have no snow and rare frosts, the air and ground temperature increases more rapidly. Many flowering plants bloom this time of year, in a long succession sometimes beginning even if snow is still on the ground, continuing into early summer. In normally snowless areas "spring" may begin as early as February (Northern Hemisphere) heralded by the blooming of deciduous magnolias, cherries, and quince, or August (Southern Hemisphere) in the same way. Subtropical and tropical areas have climates better described in terms of other seasons, e.g. dry or wet, or monsoonal, or cyclonic. Often the cultures have locally defined names for seasons which have little equivalence to the terms originating in Europe. Many temperate areas have a dry spring, and wet autumn (fall), which brings about flowering in this season more consistent with the need for water as well as warmth. Subarctic areas may not experience "spring" at all until May or even June, or December in the outer Antarctic.

While spring is a result of the warmth caused by the turning of the Earth's axis, the weather in many parts of the world is overlain by events which appear very erratic taken on a year-to-year basis. The rainfall in spring (or any season) follows trends more related to longer cycles or events created by ocean currents and ocean temperatures. A good and well-researched example being the El Niño effect and the Southern Oscillation Index.

Unstable weather may more often occur during spring, when warm air begins on occasions to invade from lower latitudes, while cold air is still pushing on occasions from the Polar regions. Flooding is also most common in and near mountainous areas during this time of year because of snowmelt, accelerated by warm rains. In the United States, Tornado Alley is most active this time of year, especially since the Rocky Mountains prevent the surging hot and cold air masses from spreading eastward and instead force them into direct conflict. Besides tornadoes, supercell thunderstorms can also produce dangerously large hail and very high winds, for which a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning is usually issued. Even more so than in winter, the jet streams play an important role in unstable and severe weather in the springtime in the Northern Hemisphere.

Spring is seen as a time of growth, renewal, of new life (both plant and animal) being born. The term is also used more generally as a metaphor for the start of better times, as in the Prague Spring. Spring in the Southern Hemisphere is different in several significant ways to that of the Northern Hemisphere. This is because: there is no land bridge between Southern Hemisphere countries and the Antarctic zone capable of bringing in cold air without the temperature-mitigating effects of extensive tracts of water; the vastly greater amount of ocean in the Southern Hemisphere at all latitudes; at this time in Earth's geologic history the Earth has an orbit which brings it in closer to the Southern Hemisphere for its warmer seasons; there is a circumpolar flow of air (the roaring 40s and 50s) uninterrupted by large land masses; no equivalent jet streams; and the peculiarities of the reversing ocean currents in the Pacific.

Festivals

Advertisements

Mesopotamia

Akitu (Sumerian Akiti-šekinku "cutting of barley", Akiti-šununum "sowing of barley", Babylonian rêš-šattim "head of the year") was a spring festival in ancient Mesopotamia. The name is from the Sumerian for "barley", originally marking two festivals celebrating the beginning of each of the two half-years of the Sumerian calendar, marking the sowing of barley in autumn and the cutting of barley in spring, in the month of Nisannu (Aries). In Babylonian religion it came to be dedicated to Marduk's victory over Tiamat.

Afghanistan

The first day of spring is the beginning of the new year, Nowruz, in the Solar Hijri Calendar. Nowruz (also Naw-Rúz, Norooz, Newroz, Navroj, and many other variants) which means "New Day" in Persian, marks an important traditional holiday festival celebrated in Afghanistan as well as in many other countries such as Azerbaijan, Iran and Tajikistan.

Australia

The annual Spring Racing Carnival of thoroughbred horse racing events is held in Melbourne in October and November, with large crowds attending. The Melbourne Cup, held on the first Tuesday of November, is Australia's premier horse race and is recognised as a public holiday in the state of Victoria. It is also referred to as The race that stops a nation.

Persia (Iran)

The first day of spring (celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on 21 March or the previous or following day depending on where it is observed) is the beginning of the new year, Nowruz, in the Iranian calendar. Nowruz (also Naw-Rúz, Norooz, Newroz, Navroj, and many other variants)which means "New Day" in Persian language, marks an important traditional holiday festival celebrated in Iran as well as in many other countries with a significant population from one of various Iranian peoples, such as Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and by Kurdish communities in Turkey and Iraq and elsewhere.

May Day

1 May is the date of several public holidays.[4] In many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, which celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labour movement. As a day of celebration the holiday has ancient origins, and it can relate to many customs that have survived into modern times. Many of these customs are due to May Day being a cross-quarter day, meaning that (in the Northern Hemisphere where it is almost exclusively celebrated) it falls approximately halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. In the Celtic tradition, this date marked the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer.

Easter

Easter is the most important religious feast in the Christian liturgical year.[5] Christians believe that Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the "third day"[6] (two days after his crucifixion), and celebrate this resurrection on Easter Day, two days after Good Friday. The date of Easter varies between 22 March and 25 April in Western tradition, and between 4 April and 8 May in Eastern Christianity.

Chinese New Year

The Chinese Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is often called the Lunar New Year, especially by people in mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first month (Chinese: 正月pinyin: zhēng yuè) in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called Lantern Festival. Chinese New Year's Eve is known as Chúxī. It literally means "Year-pass Eve". The usual starting date is the second new moon after the winter solstice, i.e. between mid-January and mid-February in the Gregorian calendar.

India

Holi, celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March), is the most vibrant festival of colours celebrated by Hindus in North India. People throw water and apply colour powders on each other.
Vasant Panchami is celebrated in North India on the fifth day of the Indian month Magh (January–February), the first day of spring. Sankranthi is celebrated in South India (Andhra Pradesh) in mid January to mark the beginning of spring season.

Vietnam

Vietnamese use the traditional lunar as well as the modern solar calendar. The celebration of Vietnamese New Year in late January or early February is regarded as the beginning of Spring. The lunar calendar is used mainly to divide the year into seasons for agriculture purposes. In the old days, the celebration used to last the entire month of January of the lunar calendar. Traditionally, firecrackers are used on New Year's Eve, or đêm giao thừa in Vietnamese, to scare away bad spirits.

Pakistan

Kite festival competitions are held all over Pakistan.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ Glossary of Meteorology
  2. ^ http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/
  3. ^ http://blogs.nzherald.co.nz/blog/weather-watch/2009/8/18/how-do-you-tell-if-spring-has-arrived/?c_id=10
  4. ^ Anthony Aveni, "May Day: A Collision of Forces," The Book of the Year: A Brief History of Our Seasonal Holidays (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 79–89.
  5. ^ Anthony Aveni, "The Easter/Passover Season: Connecting Time's Broken Circle," The Book of the Year: A Brief History of Our Seasonal Holidays (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 64–78.
  6. ^ This resurrection is commonly said to have occurred "on the third day", including the day of crucifixion. (e.g. Luke 24:21 KJV)

External links


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message