Silly Seasons

May 30, 2008

As we officially move away from Autumn and on into Winter on the first of June, I was pondering on the whys and wherefores of seasons in Australia.  We imported our seasons from Europe, or more specifically England, just reversed for the land “down under”.  We have paid little or no heed to the seasons observed by our aboriginal cultures with their different season sets in different areas of this huge continent.  Even simplified they make more sense than their northern hemisphere imports.  From two seasons; Wet season and Dry season in the north of Australia,  and Hot season and Warm season in the middle, to ten seasons on areas of the east coast, according to available bush foods. 

But why when we imported our British ideas of season did we pick the First of the month for our official changes, instead of observing equinoxes or other traditional dates?   Apparently the heavy woollen winter uniforms of the soliders keeping the convicts under control were so opressive in the spring and summer heat that they moved the official dates of the seasons forward to the first of the month so soldiers could change into their summer uniforms (jettison those heavy winter coats) early, and it made the  of doing so easier. 

Whatever the reason, this season our floral imports are all confused this year with many jonquils and daffodils all peeping out already in Autumn, after our first cold snap, instead of waiting through winter and coming out in spring!   It’s as strange as Cicadas in May!



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