Our contributors describe the different seasons in their countries and how people prepare for and celebrate them.
Northern California – Planting the garden in spring (by Jason)
Spring in Northern California means that sunny days return after a few months of intermittent winter rain. Usually towards the end of April or beginning of May we’ll go to the local nursery and buy vegetable plants (“starts”) for our raised garden plot that sits in the middle of our patio. We’ll buy several kinds of tomatoes, basil, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, lettuce, cilantro, pole beans, chili peppers, melons and whatever else looks good.
Once I’ve got the plants home we need to prepare the garden. We take the wheelbarrow over to the composter in the back of the house, where we dump all our organic food scraps for the previous year and bring it over to the garden to be worked back into the soil. The sight of mango and avocado pits and bits of eggshell in the composted material serve as a reminder of previous meals and hundreds of squirming earthworms are busy decomposing the fruit and vegetable scraps.
Once the compost is worked into the soil we put the plants in and arrange the irrigation tubes around each one. The kids usually plant carrots and radishes because they come up pretty fast and their efforts are rewarded quickly. The lettuce can be eaten in our salads with 2 weeks but the tomatoes will take about 2 months before we have hundreds of them.
By mid July, the garden is in full bloom and at least half of every summer meal will be sourced from there.
Costa Rica’s Two Seasons (by Nuria)
Costa Rican climate is basically divided into two major seasons: rainy and dry. The dry season runs from December through April and the rainy season from May to November. The early Spanish colonizers called the dry months summer and the rainy, gray and gloomy months winter, by comparing them to their own Mediterranean climate.
The coolest months of the year are November, December and January while the hottest ones March through May. In September and October the heaviest rain period occurs. During the rainy season, mornings are often sunny and warm. In the afternoons it rains a lot, sometimes there are torrential downpours. Even if the weather is rainy, it does not get so cold since the annual temperature for most of the country lies between 21.7°C (71°F) and 27°C (81°F).
Although generally classified as a tropical country because of its close proximity to the equator (9-11 degrees above it), Costa Rica has no real winter period, and the sun shines here throughout the year. With over 12 hours of sunshine a day, the sun rises at about 5 a.m. and sets at around 6 p.m. consistently throughout the year.
Something important to mention is that Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast is unique since it has its own microclimate. The weather in that part of the country is hot and humid most of the year and it rains very often; there are sunny days as well, though. In San José, the capital of the country, the average temperature ranges from 14 to 24°C (57 to 75°F) in December to 17 to 27°C (63 to 81°F) in May. National Geographic rates it some of the best in the world!
Romania – Spring is the time for new beginnings (by Carmen)
As I said in one of my posts, in Romania we usually associate the beginning of spring (which holds for 3 months, from March till May) – the season of nature and hopes revival – with Martisor celebration on the 1st of March.
Although lately weather has changed radically and the cold days accompany us sometimes till late April, Martisor tradition is always celebrated with joy.
On this day men offer women (mothers, sisters, and so on) a tiny little decorative object tied with a decorative braided cord in two colors, white and red, called Martisor, to be worn pinned during 12 days and spring flowers (snowdrops, hyacinths, violets) bouquets.
Spring is connected too with one of our most dears celebrations, Easter . We prepare ourselves and our houses (cleaning them thoroughly, throwing away all unnecessary things and decorating them) for this time of new beginnings.
For me, there are also 2 “signs” that undoubtedly tell that spring is near or it has just come : the first snowdrops in Cismigiu Park and the blossomed trees all over the city.
About the authorAna