Seasons come and seasons go. Many people are waiting for spring to arrive, but I’m really looking forward to springtime. As I write this blogpost, it is still chilly outside. By the beginning of spring – and it is swiftly coming upon us – day and night are of equal length. During springtime the days gradually grow longer. Nature awakens from its hibernation and starts to change: flowers will bloom and the little butterflies will stretch their colourful wings again, sparking the imagination of children.
A fresh wind is blowing through the kitchen door. Spring is seen as a time of new life. As the temperature slowly rises outside, farmers and gardeners alike will plant their seeds and look closely how something new is budding. In February you can already sow peas, lettuce and spinach. In March tomatoes, radishes and basil can be sown and the first potatoes can be planted. I already feel the itch to put on my boots and go into the garden. And as the view from the garden changes, the dishes on the kitchen table will change accordingly. After the long winter break, you can finally get started with delicious spring vegetables.
In Italy spring is seen as a transitional season. The country endures a lot of unpredictable weather, especially when the temperatures vary quite a bit depending on what month you’re in the country or what part you are visiting. It can go from warm and sunny to chilly and rainy in a few minutes. It is also said that Sweden only has three seasons in a year: a long summer and heavy winter and the period inbetween. Every year in Sweden the return of spring is celebrated on April 30. Great bonfires are lit and people gather around it. Poems are recited and old Swedish songs are sung. The feast is called Valborgsmässoafton. One old tradition reminds us how important April 30 used to be for farmers because on the first of May the cattle went outside for the first time. Until late that day, the farmers worked hard to get the fences and hedges trimmed and when the evening fell, the bonfire was lit. The fire had to drive the evil spirits into the forests, so the cattle could safely graze on the meadows after a long winter period.
Many cultures celebrate the return of spring. Where I live we celebrate it on Easter Day with a lot of eggs in various sizes and weights. It’s a big feast especially for the children. Eggs are hidden everywhere in the garden, as in the shade of the first flowers to emerge. Nature does look very charming on days like Easter: so much beauty, so much variety. I’m already looking forward to celebrate it too, just like my little boy’s birthday, which is arriving… in spring!