Spring (season)
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Spring, also known as springtime, is one of the four
temperate In geography, the temperate climates of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent A continent is one ...
season 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 ...

season
s, 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 The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent A continent is one of s ...

Northern Hemisphere
, it is
autumn Autumn, also known as fall in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Curr ...
in the
Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (Hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere) of Earth that is south of the Equator. It contains all or parts of five continents (Antarctica, Australia (continent), Australia, about 90% of South America, one third of A ...

Southern Hemisphere
and vice versa. At the spring (or vernal)
equinox An equinox is the instant of time when the plane of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent A continen ...

equinox
,
days A day is approximately the period during which the Earth completes one rotation around its axis, which takes around 24 hours. A solar day is the length of time which elapses between the Sun reaching its highest point in the sky two consecutive t ...
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 The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical and climate zones located to the north and south of the Torrid Zone ''Torrid Zone'' is a 1940 adventure film Adventure films are a genre of film whose plots feature elements of travel. ...

Subtropical
and
tropical The tropics are the region of Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere at N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere at S; these latitudes correspond to ...

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 Summer is the hottest of the four temperate In geography, the temperate climates of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land ...

summer
, the three coldest months are
winter Winter is the cold , a common physiological response to cold, aiming to reduce the loss of body heat in a cold environment File:AntarcticaDomeCSnow.jpg, A photograph of the snow surface at Dome C Station, Antarctica a part of the no ...

winter
, and the intervening gaps are spring and
autumn Autumn, also known as fall in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Curr ...
. Meteorological spring can therefore, start on different dates in different regions. In the
US
US
and
UK
UK
, spring months are March, April, and May. In
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, smal ...

Australia
and
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands, coveri ...

New Zealand
, spring begins on 1 September and ends on 30 November. In
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in ...

Ireland
, following the Gaelic calendar, spring is often defined as February, March, and April. In
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's for ...

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 Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
, spring months are September, October, November.


Astronomical and solar reckoning

In some cultures in the Northern Hemisphere (e.g. Germany, the United States, Canada, and the UK)), the astronomical vernal equinox (varying between 19 and 21 March) is taken to mark the first day of spring, and the
summer solstice
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 Farvardin ( fa, فروردین, ) is the Iranian Persian name for the first month A month is a unit of time, used with calendars, which is approximately as long as a natural Orbital period, period related to the motion of the Moon; ''month'' and '' ...
) which begins on 20 or 21 March. In the traditional Chinese calendar, the "spring" season () consists of the days between
Lichun Traditional Chinese calendar divides a year into 24 solar terms. ''Lìchūn'', ''Risshun'', ''Ipchun'', or ''Lập xuân'' is the 1st solar term. It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 315° and ends when it reaches the longit ...
(3–5 February), taking Chunfen (20–22 March) as its midpoint, then ending at
Lixia
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 Imbolc or Imbolg (), is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. It is traditionally observed on the 1st February. It lands about halfway between the winter solstice The winter solstice, hiemal solstice or hibernal so ...
or
Candlemas Candlemas (also spelled Candlemass), also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Feast of the Holy Encounter, is a Christian Holy Day commemorating the presentatio ...
) and continues until early May (
Beltane Beltane or Beltain () is the Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually. Gaelic languages are spoken in Ir ...
). The spring season in
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...

India
is culturally in the months of March and April, with an average temperature of approx 32 °C. Some people in India especially from Karnataka state celebrate their new year in spring,
Ugadi Ugadi or Yugadi, also known as Samvatsarādi (), is the New Year's Day for the states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The S ...
.


Ecological reckoning

The beginning of spring is not always determined by fixed calendar dates. The
phenological
phenological
or
ecological Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biology ...
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 Flora is all the plant life present in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring (indigenous (ecology), indigenous) native plants. The corresponding term for animal life is ''fauna''. Flora, fauna, and other forms of kingdom ...

flora
to flourish. These indicators, along with the beginning of spring, vary according to the local
climate Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from months to millions of years. Some of the meteorologi ...

climate
and according to the specific
weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degree to which it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloud cover, cloudy. On Earth, most weather phenomena occur in the lowest layer of the planet's atmosp ...

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.


Natural events

in
Stockholm Stockholm (; ) is the Capital city, capital of Sweden. It has the most populous urban area in Sweden as well as in Scandinavia. Approximately 975,000 people live in the Stockholm Municipality, municipality, with 1.6 million in the Stockh ...

Stockholm
in April 2016 at spring in
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Swe ...

Estonia
During early spring, the axis of the
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wit ...

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. Any
snow Snow comprises individual ice crystals that grow while suspended in the atmosphere—usually within clouds—and then fall, accumulating on the ground where they undergo further changes. It consists of frozen crystalline water throughout i ...

snow
begins to melt, swelling streams with
runoff Runoff, run-off or RUNOFF may refer to: * RUNOFF, the first computer text-formatting program * Runoff or run-off, another name for bleed (printing), bleed, printing that lies beyond the edges to which a printed sheet is trimmed * Runoff or run-off, ...
and any
frost Frost is a thin layer of ice Ice is water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main con ...

frost
s 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. 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. 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 The sub-Arctic zone is a region in the Northern Hemisphere immediately south of the true Arctic and covering much of Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, An ...
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 File:Solar Cycle Prediction.gif, thumbnail, 400px, "The prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gave a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 69 in the late Summer of 2013. The smoothed sunspot number reached 68.9 in August 2013 so the official maximum ...

solar cycle
—or events created by ocean currents and ocean temperatures—for example, the
El Niño El Niño (; ) is the warm phase of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an irregular periodic variation in winds and sea surface temperatures over the Tropics, tropical eastern Pacific Ocean, affectin ...
effect and the
Southern Oscillation Index The name Southern may refer to: * South, a point in direction. * Southern (surname) Businesses * China Southern Airlines, airline based in Guangzhou, China * Southern Airways, defunct US airline * Southern Air, air cargo transportation company bas ...
. 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, 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. In recent decades, season creep has been observed, which means that many phenology, phenological signs of spring are occurring earlier in many regions by around two days per decade. Spring in the Southern Hemisphere is different in several significant ways to that of the Northern Hemisphere for several reasons, including: #There is no land bridge between
Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (Hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere) of Earth that is south of the Equator. It contains all or parts of five continents (Antarctica, Australia (continent), Australia, about 90% of South America, one third of A ...

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 most latitudes; #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; #There is a circumpolar flow of air (''Roaring Forties, 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.


Cultural associations

File:Holi in Nepal 2016.JPG, Holi in Nepal 2016


Carnival

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.


Easter

Easter is the most important religious feast in the Christian liturgical year. Christians believe that Jesus was Resurrection of Jesus, resurrected from the dead on the "third day"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) (two days ''after'' his Crucifixion of Jesus, 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, 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 Orthodox, 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. 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 The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent A continent is one of s ...

Northern Hemisphere
where it is almost exclusively celebrated) it falls approximately halfway between the spring equinox (Northern Hemisphere), spring equinox and
summer solstice
summer solstice
. In the Celtic tradition, this date marked the end of spring and the beginning of summer.


Passover

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 March equinox, spring equinox. However, due to Intercalation (timekeeping), 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 Book of Exodus, 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 Ma Nishtana, Four Questions during the seder and hunt for the afikoman afterwards.


Allhallowtide

The Western Christian Church, Western Christian season encompassing the triduum of All Saints' Eve (Halloween), All Saints' Day (All Hallows') and All Souls' Day are observed in the spring in the Southern hemisphere.


See also

* Saint Patrick's Day (Northern Hemisphere) * Spring break * Spring cleaning * One Spring Night (Korean Television Drama) * Akitu (Ancient Mesopotamia, Sumeria, Babylonia) * Bihu (India) * Chinese New Year * Floriade (Canberra), Floriade (Australia) * Holi (India, Nepal) * Imbolc, St Brigid's Day (Ireland) * Mărțișor (Romania) * Nowruz (Many countries) * Pahela Falgun (Bangladesh) * Sham el-Nessim (Egypt) * Sinhala New Year (Sri Lanka) * Spring Carnival (Australia) * Spring Day (Many countries) * Tết (Vietnam) * Vasant panchami (India)


Notes


References


External links


Word LoreOnline Etymology DictionaryGlossary of MeteorologySolstice, Equinox & Cross-Quarter Moments for 2011 and other years, for several time zonesEarth's Seasons, Equinoxes, Solstices, Perihelion, and Aphelion, 2000–2020
(from the United States Naval Observatory's Astronomical Applications Department)
Seasons and Seasonal Cusps as Pagan and Religious Holidays
(fro
Archaeoastronomy

What day does spring start?
(BBC, UK News Magazine)
Status of Spring
– Maps of Spring Leaf and Bloom Indices for the United States * {{DEFAULTSORT:Spring (Season) Spring (season),