A little while ago I flew over the Cascade Range in Washington State. It was late afternoon and the light was fading. Low clouds were wavering through the sky and the mountains just managed to peak through here and there. It was a very peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. I just love to look at the photo again and again and recall that moment.
It finally feels like spring! For a couple of days now it has been warmer and the sky is blue again. The last snow storm is only a memory now. There is still some snow on the ground and the mountain tops are still white, but here in the valley the birds are singing and the trees are budding. With the snow melting, patches of brownish grass appear and sometimes a smell of decay, and it’s muddy too, but soon the first green will show its tender tips. I am so ready for spring!
The first of March is the meteorological beginning of spring. Here in the mountains, though, spring is still far away with the next blizzard approaching. We still have a lot of snow; not so much in the valley but loads on the mountains. While I like the snow, I do not enjoy the cold very much 🙁 . I really long for warmer weather and especially for blue skies again. Winter here seems to be half a year of grey skies. So I look at old photographs and just dream about spring being already here.
The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world with a new year beginning on each 1 January. It is a solar calendar determining the length of the year by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun and its months not corresponding to the phases of the Moon.
Some countries however also use other types of calendars. The Chinese calendar, for example, is a lunisolar calendar. Months are based on the orbit of the Moon around the Earth and years on the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. Months begin on the day of a New Moon and years on the New Moon between 21 January and 20 February.
While China in general uses the Gregorian calendar, the traditional Chinese calendar is used to determine holidays, the most famous probably being the Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year also marks the beginning of the Spring Festival, a two weeks event ending with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the year. In 2019, the Chinese New Year is today, February 5, and marks the beginning of the Year of the Pig, commonly associated with prosperity.
Happy New Year!
Lately over Washington State. It was cloudy below and Mount Rainier just barely got its peak through the blanket of clouds. The Sun was about to set and sent its last rays above the mountaintop. The fading light left the mountain just a silhouette. But the world above was still golden and sparkling.