Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Explaining the four seasons

by : 
DrewH

The four seasons are such an integral part of British life it seems incredibly strange when people who live near to the equator do not understand them. A huge part of the world’s population lives near to the border between the hemispheres and therefore don’t see the big changes in temperature and weather conditions that people in the north or south experience.

A country’s culture changes depending on what time of year it is. In the summer, people go on day trips to the beach, sit outside in the garden, drink coffee on the street and because of this, are more cheerful and happy. On the other hand, in winter people hide indoors as much as possible, go on fewer days out and the idea of sitting outside becomes laughable.

I recently found myself having to explain to some modern languages students what kind of weather happens in spring, summer, autumn and winter, as well as when they happen! The students were fascinated by the idea of a whole culture changing so much between summer and winter. However, what really confused them was the idea that in Britain our days and nights change length throughout the year. They did not believe me when I told them that in winter the sun sets at four o’clock whereas in summer it can stay until after ten o’clock at night.

This experience reminded me that a culture isn’t just about the people and the traditions that are celebrated in a certain place. The geography of the place plays a crucial role in defining what people do there as well. A simple example is sport: in summer, sports like surfing and climbing are practiced lots more because the weather conditions are right for them. In the winter, however, sports like skiing or ice skating which require snowy conditions become much more popular. This was a very foreign concept to my students, most of whom probably have never seen a real snowfall in their life.

Discussion

Do you have seasons where you live? Which is your favourite? Do people behave differently depending on the time of year and the temperature?

Comments

Fatime143's picture
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Fatime143 8 February, 2014 - 06:27

My favourite season is spring.Spring is warm.The gardens and parks are green.There are a lot of flowers there.I can listen to birds songs in the parks.

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justcricketforme 26 January, 2014 - 05:28

We have all four seasons here in Pakistan. I love Winter. Yes temprature and all matters because in summers, everyone's hot and bothered, there are many fights.

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Niluh 2 December, 2013 - 14:47

Yes! My county has two seasons only, rainy and summer. In rainy season, Jakarta (the city where i live) always gets flood. It can stop all activities at school and company, sometimes i don't go to school because of flood and heavy rain. I don't really like summer, it's extremely hot in Jakarta in the summer, the hottest temperature i've ever read in news is 34 degrees in the afternoon, you can imagine how hot is.

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Lavender 6 December, 2013 - 01:11

Me too I live in a city which just has 2 seasons kind of a rainy one and a dry one. It's hot all the year even in the New Year. But perhaps I was born here so I get accustomed to it. I used to experience 2 winters in the north of my country and it turned out very uncomfortable to me. I had to wear layers of clothes which I have never done before and they made me hard to breath. And in the winter I easily felt down somehow, maybe it was because of the dull sky. Summer is hot but at night it is very cool, the temperature may decrease to 22 degree C it's perfect time to go out and have a walk :)
oh it's summer here and the sun sets at 5-6 PM, so it's hard to believe you still can see the sun at night.

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learningenglish282's picture
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learningenglish282 29 November, 2013 - 00:50

i have just seen snow this Monday and it was AMAZING!!! It was beautiful and cold at the same time :))

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Lavender's picture
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Lavender 6 December, 2013 - 00:39

Hi nice to meet you :)
It was amazing you had a chance to see the snow, I have never seen it in my life.
Btw, where did you see them?

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Harabeli Supersweet 27 November, 2013 - 11:30

Yes, there are four seasons in Albania. They're all so wonderful and I'm so glad that we have seasons, but my favourite one is Winter. I love it, because we celebrate Christmas and New Year, everything is decorated and sparkly. I love snow too, but it's too rare in Tirana, the city where I live. I have seen snow only two times here and it made me feel so happy. I wish it snows this year on December.

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