Spring Day: Actually, it’s not

Hopefield, photo: Luke Daniel

Spring Day: Actually, it’s not until late September

Spring Day is upon us. Or is it? Spring doesn’t actually start, according to nature’s clock, until late September, no matter how much we sing that celebration song.

Spring Day: Actually, it’s not

Hopefield, photo: Luke Daniel

If you went to school in South Africa, chances are you were subjected to singing “Dis Heerlike Lente” on 1 September every year. But it’s another one on the transgression list for the wrong things we were taught at school.

While the southern hemisphere tends to ‘celebrate’ Spring on 1 September, the season doesn’t actually start (according to nature’s calendar) until the Vernal Equinox.

Spring Equinox explained

The date changes slightly every year and takes place when the plane (extended indefinitely in all directions) of Earth’s equator passes through the centre of the Sun.

Why South Africa celebrates “Spring Day” on 1 September

It’s pretty simple. Basically, for simplicity. Back in 1780 an international group of meteorologists decided to break the year up into four quarters, each one starting on the first of a month.

Spring Day celebrations around the world

While we sing silly songs in South Africa, the day is celebrated in some unique ways around the world. AccuWeather has a list of some of the celebrations, which includes things like a flower festival in Australia, cherry blossom delights in Japan and the drowning of the Marzanna in Poland. According to AccuWeather :

A doll, usually made of straw, is made to symbolize the cold, dreary winter. The dolls are then paraded through the street as crowds make their way to a river or other body of water.

But let’s not spoil the Spring flower fun

We don’t want to burst your bubble. In South Africa, Spring is all about the country’s beautiful wild flowers. And they have been popping up quietly already. If you’re looking for inspiration on where to go see them or you just want to live vicariously through your phone, check out our feature here.

Top tip: You won’t see these beauties if there is no sun. So, if you were planning a Spring Day adventure to look at some blossoms in the Western Cape, you’re out of luck. There’s lots of rain forecast for the weekend. Bad for flower spotting, great news for the dams and the drought.