Northern hemisphere showing first signs of spring

As the spring equinox approaches, many communities around the world mark the changing seasons with celebrations.

| Weather

Although the true arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere does not happen until the spring equinox on March 20, there are signs of the end of winter and the arrival of warmer weather.

The nesting of storks in Germany is seen by many as an indicator of the end of winter, as is blooming of tulips in the northern Indian hill station of Srinagar.

For many communities, especially rural ones, spring means the end of the deadly threat of cold, and the opportunity to grow crops to feed themselves and their livestock.

It is in such communities that ancient rites and celebrations are marked to give thanks for surviving the winter and to offer a prayer for a bumper spring crop.

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