The first day of spring. I was looking out for it really intently this year, and still I missed it. In some parts of the world, “spring season” as we have it here in the in the DC area, doesn’t exist.
In many equatorial countries of the world, the only seasons are “the rainy (or wet) season” and “the dry season”. In fact, there are over 100 countries where the only seasons are the “wet” and “dry” seasons.
In the continental United States, we can count on having 4 seasons – Spring, Summer, Fall (Autumn), Winter. This doesn’t mean that our seasons always show up on time (or exit gracefully right when we tire of them).
Springtime (Spring Season) In The Culture
Time of new growth, renewal, new warmth and new blooms
The coming of spring season – particularly the first day of spring – has traditionally symbolized renewal, reawakening, rebirth, and new growth. With the newly warm days that trigger the first blooms of trees and plants, it seems to signal the re-emergence of the world itself.
This year, perhaps due to some persistent reminders from my son, I was really looking out for the first “official” day of spring, so I could announce it to him in grand fashion.
The first day of spring is commonly associated with the vernal (spring) equinox.
For 2016, the vernal (spring) equinox took place on March 20th, 2016 at 12:30 am.
The equinox is the time when neither the Northern or Southern hemisphere is tilting away from the sun. The equinox occurs when the sun appears directly overheard along Earth’s equator, at zero degrees latitude. In the spring, it’s called the vernal equinox, and in the fall, the autumnal equinox.
One tradition that is closely tied to springtime is “spring cleaning”. In the relatively colder climate areas, the closed windows and doors of winter have traditionally given way to the warmth of spring. When houses were heated with wood fires and other types of smoky fuel sources, it made a lot of sense to clean out the house with the arrival of spring.
Today, spring cleaning remains a tradition in much of the northern hemisphere. Spring cleaning – and fall cleaning – is probably a wise practice for people with winter / indoor allergies as well.
Spring Festivals – time of exploration
With all its many positive associations, spring is also a time of festivals. Many of today’s festivals – religious and otherwise – have traditions that reach back in time thousands of years to springtime celebrations of fertility, rebirth, and renewal. Today’s spring festivals may have a much wider variety of themes, but some of the best known of them – like Washington’s Cherry Blossom Festival – are still celebrations of new blooms and renewal.
Seasonal (Spring) Allergies
With the new blooms of flowers, plants, gardens and trees, many people consider the spring season to be the most beautiful time of the year. However, for individuals with pollen allergies, particularly people who are allergic to tree pollens, spring is certainly NOT the most wonderful time of the year.
Far from it.
For millions of people who suffer from seasonal spring allergies, springtime is a trying time. Many are forced to spend much of their days indoors, or in closed, air-conditioned environments. They either suffer the symptoms of hay fever and spring allergies, or drowsiness and other side effects from over-the-counter allergy medications.
Get Relief, Enjoy The Spring Season
If you – or someone you know – needs expert relief from seasonal allergies during the spring season, you should consider our Silver Spring allergy & asthma clinic, Alpha Allergy & Asthma Associates. Founded by some of the best doctors in Maryland, specializing in treating allergy, asthma and related conditions, we see pediatric and adult allergy patients, and accept most major insurance plans. We are also currently accepting new patients.
Photo credit: Dancing girl jumping in street by Ed Gregory