Did you know that seasons in India are different than in the rest of the world? Continue reading to learn about weather, culture, and other interesting facts associated with each of the six seasons in India.
The Six Seasons
Can you name the seasons? Spring, summer, fall (or autumn), and winter are the seasons observed in most places around the world. India, however, observes six seasons instead of four. This is because Hinduism is the main religion in India, and the Hindu calendar has six seasons.The six seasons have names in the Sanskrit language, which is one of the languages spoken in India. Each season’s name ends in the word ritu, which means ‘season’ in Sanskrit.
Spring is known as Vasant Ritu and is observed from February 19th to April 19th. During Vasant Ritu, the weather is nice, and the flowers are blooming. In fact, it’s known as ‘King of the Seasons’ for its ideal weather. The Vernal Equinox takes place right in the middle of Vasant Ritu, as the earth’s axis is not pointed away nor toward the sun. During the Vernal Equinox, both day and night are exactly 12 hours long.
India is a country that likes to celebrate, and one of its biggest celebrations takes place during this season. It’s called the Holi Festival, and it’s a celebration of good winning over evil. The people of India celebrate by covering themselves in different colors!
When we think of summer, most of us think of heat.
This is no different in India. The summer, or Grishma Ritu, is the hottest season. Grishma Ritu takes place from April 20th to June 21st. During this time, some parts of India reach temperatures of 113 degrees!There is also some rainfall that occurs during Grishma Ritu, including pre-monsoon rains known as ‘mango showers.’ Mango trees are pretty common along the coast in parts of India, and the rain makes the mangoes grow big and fruitful.
These rain showers are just a preview of bigger storms to come.
Monsoon season, also known as Varsha Ritu, is one of the seasons that’s not traditionally observed in other countries. Monsoons are very extreme winds that cause heavy amounts of rainfall. This season lasts from June 22nd to August 22nd. Many times, monsoons lead to extreme flooding of the streets of India. While it doesn’t rain every day, it rains quite often.
Autumn, or Sharad Ritu, is when things begin to cool down.
This season begins on August 23rd and ends on October 23rd. Similar to Vasant Ritu, the mid-point of this season is the Autumnal Equinox, which is when the days and nights are equal. The parties continue during this season, and many festivals are celebrated. One of the Sharad Ritu festivals is the Navratri Festival, which is the festival of nine lights honoring various Hindu gods.
Pre-winter, also known as Hemant Ritu, is another season that’s not among the traditional four seasons. Despite its chilling name, this season is actually known to have pretty nice weather. Hemant Ritu lasts from October 23rd to December 22nd.
One of the major celebrations of this season is Diwali, which is the festival of lights. It’s the most important holiday of the year. People of India put lights outside their houses to represent the spiritual light inside of them.
Brrr! It’s Shishir Ritu, or winter time, which is December 22nd to February 18th. Many people of India take the time to build up their strength to prepare for the spring season to come.
They do this by exercising and eating healthy. Since the rain has died down at this point, the weather is quite dry.
There are six seasons in India because the people there follow the Hindu calendar. They call seasons ritu, which is the Sanskrit translation for ‘season.’ The two non-traditional seasons are the monsoon season and pre-winter.