As the pall of illness gently lifts from our household, we are looking forward to the month of February and signs of the coming spring. The apple trees are making buds, even though there is still ice on the dam. The shifting temperatures are confusing for both our immune system and the garden. However, wanting spring does not make it so – yes, I am talking to you IKEA.
Endlich Frühling! What is this? Did they send the ad out a month early?
Hubby intervenes in my rant about misinformation and says that on the Norwegian broadcasting channel (NRK) news they said that February 1 was the first day of spring. What?!? Is this like that rumor about horoscopes changing? Did they start messing with the seasons too?
I could not let this go. So I checked with the very reliable Farmers Almanac who says that spring begins March 20, 7:21 P.M. EDT. To be sure I checked a German Wikipedia page which stated that German spring begins the 21 of March. Sheesh, typical Germans.
Therefore, I keep looking for the definitive answer. In a more general Wikipedia entry, I find it is not so clear. Apparently some people, probably scientists, think that the four divisions are not clear enough and they want to add another season and change all the names.
- Prevernal (ca.1 March–1 May)
- Vernal (ca.1 May–15 June)
- Estival (ca.15 June–15 August)
- Serotinal (ca.15 August–15 September)
- Autumnal (ca.15 September–1 November)
- Hibernal (ca.1 November–1 March)
While I definitely would like to put a little more Latin in my life, do we really need to be SO specific? How about some continuity, people? How can future generations appreciate Bryan Adams summer of ´69 when they don’t know what summer is. Would they change the lyrics to the Estival of ´69? What about Christmas music? I dread to think of us walking in a Hibernal wonderland.
While more descriptive I still prefer the simple four divisions that originate from the Roman calendar. These are generally used in the west with the apparent exception of Finland, Sweden and quite possibly Norway. These crazy Scandinavians define seasons by temperature averages and spring therefore begins when the daily averaged temperature permanently rises above 0° C. This means that spring arrives at different times throughout the country. That is crazy talk but could explain NRK’s declaration of spring in some part of Norway yesterday. Unfortunately it still does not explain my IKEA flyer.
Pay attention people! It is winter! Wonderful, glorious, chilly winter. Making you cuddle up indoors with candles, fires, and cocoa. Seize the day and embrace winter! If you do, spring will be here before you know it!
By the way, I am still a Virgo unless Leos also make many lists.
Update: This wasn’t the end of it we got this ad in April