We talk about when the official start of spring is around the world
Lead image: Flower Tote with Whites & Greens, from £75; Blanche Vase from £46 with spring faux flower bouquet, individual faux stems from £9.50, both available from Philippa Craddock
Depending on which definition you use, there are actually two different dates that mark the first day of spring. The 1st March 2017 is the first day of the meteorological spring and 20th March is the first day of the astronomical spring, but spring also starts at varying times for different people, in different cultures. Traditionally in Ireland, for instance, spring kicks in after St Brigid's Day on the 1st of February. Celebrating the arrival of longer warmer days and early signs of spring, it is one of the four major 'fire' festivals in Irish mythology.
There's also Nowruz – or 'The New Day' – in Iran which marks the beginning of the New Year and falls near the vernal equinox in March. Iranians celebrate Nowruz over the course of 13 days by cleaning their homes, purchasing new clothing, paying visits to family and friends, and by setting out a symbolic spring meal called Haft seen. On the 13th day of the festival, people picnic outside, in a symbolic renunciation of the bad luck traditionally associated with the number 13.
Then in mid-April in Thailand there is the 3 day Songkran Water Festival and on March 1st in Bulgaria, Baba Marta people give each other woven red-and-white figures (martenitsi) which they wear until they see the first buds or birds of spring, after which people tie their martenitsi to trees in recognition of the coming of spring. The holiday celebrates Baba Marta ('Granny March'), a woman whose smiling arrival signals the end of winter.
We think spring starts when the first daffodils and blossoms can be glimpsed from our office window – which essentially means now! Here’s to brighter and longer days ahead, and the greening of the countryside. It really is our favourite time of year.
Article by: EKBB