Spring (season)

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Temperate season
Oberhausen - Gasometer - Der schone Schein - Primavera (Botticelli) 04 ies.jpg
Flora (from Primavera by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1480)
Northern temperate zone
Astronomical season21 March – 21 June
Meteorological season1 March – 31 May
Solar (Celtic) season1 February – 30 April
Southern temperate zone
Astronomical season23 September – 22 December
Meteorological season1 September – 30 November
Solar (Celtic) season1 August – 31 October
Spring Seasons.svg Autumn
Colorful spring garden flowers Colorful spring garden.jpg
Colorful spring garden flowers

Spring, also known as springtime, is one of the four temperate seasons, succeeding winter and preceding summer. There are various technical definitions of spring, but local usage of the term varies according to local climate, cultures and customs. When it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it is autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. At the spring (or vernal) equinox, days and nights are approximately twelve hours long, with daytime length increasing and nighttime length decreasing as the season progresses.


Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. Subtropical and tropical areas have climates better described in terms of other seasons, e.g. dry or wet, monsoonal or cyclonic. Cultures may have local names for seasons which have little equivalence to the terms originating in Europe.

Meteorological reckoning

Meteorologists generally define four seasons in many climatic areas: spring, summer, autumn (fall), and winter. These are determined 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. Meteorological Spring, can therefore, start on different dates in different regions.

In the US and UK, spring months are March, April, and May. [1] [2]

In Australia [3] and New Zealand, [4] [5] spring begins on 1 September and ends on 30 November.

In Ireland, following the Gaelic calendar, spring is often defined as February, March, and April. [6] [7]

In Sweden, meteorologists define the beginning of spring as the first occasion on which the average 24 hours temperature exceeds zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days, thus the date varies with latitude and elevation.

In Brazil, spring months are September, October, November, and December.

Astronomical and solar reckoning

In some cultures in the Northern Hemisphere (e.g. Germany, the United States, Canada, and the UK) [8] ), the astronomical vernal equinox (varying between 19 and 21 March) is taken to mark the first day of spring, and the summer solstice (around 21 June) is taken as the first day of summer. In other traditions, the equinox is taken as mid-spring.

In Persian culture the first day of spring is the first day of the first month (called Farvardin) which begins on 20 or 21 March.

In the traditional Chinese calendar, the "spring" season ( ) consists of the days between Lichun (3–5 February), taking Chunfen (20–22 March) as its midpoint, then ending at Lixia (5–7 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 spring season in India is culturally in the months of March and April, with an average temperature of approx 32 °C. [9] Some people in India especially from Karnataka state celebrate their new year in spring, Ugadi.

Ecological reckoning

The beginning of spring is not always determined by fixed calendar dates. The phenological or ecological definition of spring relates to biological indicators, such as the blossoming of a range of plant species, the activities of animals, and the special smell of soil that has reached the temperature for micro flora to flourish. These indicators, along with the beginning of spring, vary according to the local climate and according to the specific weather of a particular year.

Some ecologists divide the year into six seasons. In addition to spring, ecological reckoning identifies an earlier separate prevernal (early or pre-spring) season between the hibernal (winter) and vernal (spring) seasons. This is a time when only the hardiest flowers like the crocus are in bloom, sometimes while there is still some snowcover on the ground. [10]

Natural events

Hundreds of sour cherry blooming in Extremadura, Spain, during spring Camino entre el bosque de cerezos en flor.jpg
Hundreds of sour cherry blooming in Extremadura, Spain, during spring
Late April in the Alps. At high elevations (or latitudes), spring is often the snowiest period of the year. Chablais.jpg
Late April in the Alps. At high elevations (or latitudes), spring is often the snowiest period of the year.
A willow in Stockholm in April 2016 Spring in Stockholm 2016 (2).jpg
A willow in Stockholm in April 2016
Sowing at spring in Estonia Kevadkulv.jpg
Sowing at spring in Estonia

During early spring, the axis of the Earth is increasing its tilt relative to 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. [13]

Any snow begins to melt, swelling streams with runoff and any frosts become less severe. In climates that have no snow, and rare frosts, air and ground temperatures increase more rapidly.

Many flowering plants bloom at this time of year, in a long succession, sometimes beginning when snow is still on the ground and continuing into early summer. [14] In normally snowless areas, "spring" may begin as early as February (Northern Hemisphere) or August (Southern Hemisphere), heralded by the blooming of deciduous magnolias, cherries, and quince. [15] 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.

While spring is a result of the warmth caused by the changing orientation of the Earth's axis relative to the Sun, the weather in many parts of the world is affected by other, less predictable events. The rainfall in spring (or any season) follows trends more related to longer cycles—such as the solar cycle—or events created by ocean currents and ocean temperatures—for example, the El Niño effect and the Southern Oscillation Index.

Unstable spring weather may occur more often when warm air begins to invade from lower latitudes, while cold air is still pushing from the Polar regions. Flooding is also most common in and near mountainous areas during this time of year, because of snow-melt which is accelerated by warm rains. In North America, Tornado Alley is most active at 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 Northern Hemisphere weather in springtime. [16]

In recent decades, season creep has been observed, which means that many phenological signs of spring are occurring earlier in many regions by around two days per decade.[ citation needed ]

Spring in the Southern Hemisphere is different in several significant ways to that of the Northern Hemisphere for several reasons, including:

  1. 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;
  2. The vastly greater amount of ocean in the Southern Hemisphere at most latitudes;
  3. At this time in Earth's geologic history the Earth has an orbit which brings it in closer to the sun in the Southern Hemisphere for its warmer seasons;
  4. There is a circumpolar flow of air ( the roaring 40s and 50s ) uninterrupted by large land masses;
  5. No equivalent jet streams; and
  6. The peculiarities of the reversing ocean currents in the Pacific. [17]

Cultural associations

Celebration stage of 1st day of Falgun, beginning of spring season in Bangladesh, 2014 Celebration stage of 1st day, Spring (Pohela Falgun) at Faculty of Fine arts, University of Dhaka, 13 February, 2014.JPG
Celebration stage of 1st day of Falgun, beginning of spring season in Bangladesh, 2014
Holi in Nepal 2016 Holi in Nepal 2016.JPG
Holi in Nepal 2016


Carnival is practiced by many Christians around the world in the days before Lent (40 days, without Sundays, before Easter). It is the first spring festival of the new year for many. [18]


Easter eggs, such as this Ukrainian one, signify the Resurrection of Jesus. Unfinished pysanka.jpg
Easter eggs, such as this Ukrainian one, signify the Resurrection of Jesus.

Easter is the most important religious feast in the Christian liturgical year. [19] Christians believe that Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the "third day" [note 1] (two days after his crucifixion), and celebrate this resurrection on Easter Day, two days after Good Friday. Since the Last Supper was a Passover Seder, the date of Easter can be calculated as the first Sunday after the start of Passover. This is usually (see Passover below) the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. The date of Easter varies between 22 March and 25 April (which corresponds to between 4 April and 8 May in the Gregorian Calendar for the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches using the Julian Calendar). In this celebration, the children do an easter egg hunt.

May Day

The First of May is the date of many public holidays. [20] 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.


The Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan, which typically falls in March or April of the Gregorian calendar on the night of a full moon after the northern spring equinox. [21] However, due to leap months falling after the vernal equinox, Passover sometimes starts on the second full moon after vernal equinox, as in 2016. Jews celebrate this holiday to commemorate their escape from slavery in Egypt as described in the book of Exodus in the Torah. Foods consumed during Passover seders, such as lamb and barley, are tied to springtime seasonal availability. In this celebration, children recite the Four Questions during the seder and hunt for the afikoman afterwards.

See also


  1. This resurrection is commonly said to have occurred "on the third day after resting for the Sabbath (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown), including the day of crucifixion." (e.g. Luke 24:21 KJV)

Related Research Articles

Autumn One of Earths four temperate seasons

Autumn, also known as fall in North American English, is one of the four temperate seasons. Outside the tropics, autumn marks the transition from summer to winter, in September or March, when the duration of daylight becomes noticeably shorter and the temperature cools considerably. Day length decreases and night length increases as the season progresses until the Winter Solstice in December and June. One of its main features in temperate climates is the shedding of leaves from deciduous trees.

Equinox Semi-annual astronomical event where the Sun is directly above the Earths equator

An equinox is the instant of time when the plane of Earth's equator passes through the geometric center of the Sun's disk. This occurs twice each year, around 20 March and 23 September. In other words, it is the moment at which the center of the visible Sun is directly above the equator.

A solstice is an event that occurs when the Sun appears to reach its most northerly or southerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. Two solstices occur annually, around June 21 and December 21. In many countries, the seasons of the year are determined by reference to the solstices and the equinoxes.

Summer Hottest of the four temperate seasons

Summer is the hottest of the four temperate seasons, falling after spring and before autumn. At or around the summer solstice, the earliest sunrise and latest sunset occurs, the days are longest and the nights are shortest, with day length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice. The date of the beginning of summer varies according to climate, tradition, and culture. When it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and vice versa.

Wheel of the Year Annual cycle of seasonal festivals observed by many modern Pagans

The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals, observed by many modern Pagans, consisting of the year's chief solar events and the midpoints between them. While names for each festival vary among diverse pagan traditions, syncretic treatments often refer to the four solar events as "quarter days" and the four midpoint events as "cross-quarter days", particularly in Wicca. Differing sects of modern Paganism also vary regarding the precise timing of each celebration, based on distinctions such as lunar phase and geographic hemisphere.

Winter Coldest of the four temperate seasons

Winter is the coldest season of the year in polar and temperate zones; it does not occur in most of the tropical zone. It occurs after autumn and before spring in each year. Winter is caused by the axis of the Earth in that hemisphere being oriented away from the Sun. Different cultures define different dates as the start of winter, and some use a definition based on weather. When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and vice versa. In many regions, winter is associated with snow and freezing temperatures. The moment of winter solstice is when the Sun's elevation with respect to the North or South Pole is at its most negative value. The day on which this occurs has the shortest day and the longest night, with day length increasing and night length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice. The earliest sunset and latest sunrise dates outside the polar regions differ from the date of the winter solstice, however, and these depend on latitude, due to the variation in the solar day throughout the year caused by the Earth's elliptical orbit.

Seasonal lag is the phenomenon whereby the date of maximum average air temperature at a geographical location on a planet is delayed until some time after the date of maximum insolation. This also applies to the minimum temperature being delayed until some time after the date of minimum insolation.

Birkat Hachama Jewish blessing, thanking God for creating the sun. Recited once every 28 years.

Birkat Hachama refers to a rare Jewish blessing that is recited to the Creator, thanking Him for creating the sun. The blessing is recited when the sun completes its cycle every 28 years on a Tuesday at sundown. Jewish tradition says that when the Sun completes this cycle, it has returned to its position when the world was created. Because the blessing needs to be said when the sun is visible, the blessing is postponed to the following day, on Wednesday morning.

Climate of Chicago

The climate of Chicago is classified as hot-summer humid continental, with all four seasons distinctly represented: Winters are cold and see frequent snow and near 0 °F (−18 °C) windchill temperatures, while summers are warm and humid with temperatures being hotter inland, spring and fall bring bouts of both cool and warm weather and fairly sunny skies. Annual precipitation in Chicago is moderate and relatively evenly distributed, the driest months being January and February and the wettest July and August. Chicago's weather is influenced during all four seasons by the nearby presence of Lake Michigan.

September equinox Astronomical event of the Solar System

The September equinox is the moment when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading southward. Due to differences between the calendar year and the tropical year, the September equinox can occur at any time between September 21 and 24.

March equinox The equinox on the Earth when the Sun appears to leave the southern hemisphere and cross the celestial equator

The March equinox or northward equinox is the equinox on the Earth when the subsolar point appears to leave the Southern Hemisphere and cross the celestial equator, heading northward as seen from Earth. The March equinox is known as the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and as the autumnal equinox in the Southern.

Winter solstice Astronomical phenomenon when the tilt of either of Earths poles away from the Sun reaches a maximum (currently -23.44°)

The winter solstice, also called the hiemal solstice or hibernal solstice, occurs when either of Earth's poles reaches its maximum tilt away from the Sun. This happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere. For that hemisphere, the winter solstice is the day with the shortest period of daylight and longest night of the year, when the Sun is at its lowest daily maximum elevation in the sky. Either pole experiences continuous darkness or twilight around its winter solstice. The opposite event is the summer solstice. Depending on the hemisphere's winter solstice, at the Tropic of Cancer or Capricorn, the Sun reaches 90° below the observer's horizon at solar midnight, to the nadir.

Summer solstice Astronomical phenomenon

The summer solstice, also known as estival solstice or midsummer, occurs when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere. For that hemisphere, the summer solstice is when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and is the day with the longest period of daylight. Within the Arctic circle or Antarctic circle, there is continuous daylight around the summer solstice. On the summer solstice, Earth's maximum axial tilt toward the Sun is 23.44°. Likewise, the Sun's declination from the celestial equator is 23.44°.

Lists of holidays by various categorizations.

June solstice Solstice that occurs each June (summer solstice in Northern Hemisphere and winter solstice in Southern Hemisphere)

The June solstice is the solstice on the Earth that occurs each year falling on 20–22 June according to the Gregorian calendar. In the Northern Hemisphere, the June solstice is the summer solstice, whilst in the Southern Hemisphere it is the winter solstice. It is also known as the northern solstice.

December solstice Astronomical phenomenon; solstice that occurs each December, typically between the 20th and the 22nd day of the month according to the Gregorian calendar

The December solstice, also known as the southern solstice, is the solstice that occurs each December – typically on 21 December, but may vary by one day in either direction according to the Gregorian calendar. In the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice is the winter solstice, whilst in the Southern Hemisphere it is the summer solstice.

Season Subdivision of the year based on orbit and axial tilt

A season is a division of the year based on changes in weather, ecology, and the number of daylight hours in a given region. On Earth, seasons are the result of Earth's orbit around the Sun and Earth's axial tilt relative to the ecliptic plane. In temperate and polar regions, the seasons are marked by changes in the intensity of sunlight that reaches the Earth's surface, variations of which may cause animals to undergo hibernation or to migrate, and plants to be dormant. Various cultures define the number and nature of seasons based on regional variations, and as such there are a number of both modern and historical cultures whose number of seasons vary.

This is a list of holidays in South Sudan.

Spring equinox or Vernal equinox or variations may refer to:


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  17. "El Niño: Pacific Wind and Current Changes Bring Warm, Wild Weather". earthobservatory.nasa.gov. 14 February 2017.
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