If you can believe it, Memorial Day weekend is only a week away. The kids are almost out of school, and in most people’s minds, summer is about to begin. That is unless you believe in the seasonal calendar which says summer doesn’t begin until June 20th. ( Summer Solstice occurs at 7;09pm EDT )
Let’s face it, the seasonal calendars that base the start of each 13 week season don’t particularly line up well with what most people’s perceptions of the seasons are…..Keep in mind that the start of each season varies in date from year to year…Be it the 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, or 23rd…..Those are dates that either the equinoxes or the solstices can occur in any given year.
I have long been an advocate of re-defining the start times of each season in a simpler way:
Beginning of Winter: Dec 1st
Beginning of Spring: April 1st
Beginning of Summer: June 1st
Beginning of Fall: September 1st
This would give us Winter for 4 months, Spring for 2 months, Summer for 3 months and Fall for 3 months….Here’s my reasoning. Keep in mind, no matter how you adjust the calendar, the weather pattern will not change significantly for some of the southernmost locations. However, for the majority of the country ( exluding Alaska and Hawaii ) enough change starts occurring by these dates to implement a seasonal change. Granted, year to year variations in weather patterns may allow for an earlier feel to the seasonal changes. ( such as this year, with March having ten 80 degree days )
However, my main reasoning for changing the season dates has less to do with the weather….and more to do with people’s mind frame. In other words, base the change to dates that accomodate how people think of the seasonal changes. Summer is a perfect example. Memorial Day weekend brings about the start of the year when many people begin regular trips to the lakes, beaches, cooking out on the grill, and countless evening activities. Not to mention, summer vacation is starting for most school districts ( although true, some schools in other parts of the country don’t end until early June )
And what about fall? I for one have never been able to grasp going three weeks into September for fall to begin. The kids are back in school, football has started, some trees even have hints of color change before the peak occurs in October, and people are in a different mode of thinking. Their activities tend to shift to other interests and thus they leave their summer mindset for another type of lifestyle.
As fall progresses, people trend more and more to a winter-type mindset which in many cases is in full swing by December 1st…well before the official start of winter. Winter wardrobes to accomodate the cooler weather, fires in the fireplace, more time indoors, be it at home, the office, or out in stores shopping. Even things like what we eat tend to be more related to how we view seasons.
The reality is though, the calendars will likely never change from the way they are now. Afterall, it’s been this way for many years and regardless of what the calendar says, people will go about their routines….despite whether it lines up with the season start time.
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