Our calendar consists of twelve months - the amount of time it takes the Earth to complete one full cycle around the Sun.
The 365 days of the year are divided into four different seasons, each of which complements another: winter and summer, spring and autumn. Each season is characterized by its own typical weather, changes in the animals and plants and by its designated songs. Every season creates a certain type of atmosphere. In Israel the transitional seasons - autumn and spring - are short and often bring surprising weather changes.
"The chill of morning, the shriek of the crow, awakened me. And I know not why holiday joy suddenly came upon me" wrote poet Haim Nachman Bialik (from Songs of Winter).
Winter is the coldest season, and it brings the rain. Each year we wait and hope for abundant winter rains and look forward to using our warm blankets, boots, umbrellas and coats. "Come rain!" sang the IDF Nachal entertainment troupe, lyrics by Tirza Atar and melody by Alona Turel.
Snow falls in Jerusalem and on the high mountain peaks. Water gushes in the rivers and even in the previously dry riverbeds. The Israeli landscape turns from dry gray to bright green. The green orchards are dotted with orange and yellow citrus fruit.
The days grow shorter as the nights lengthen. But we still enjoy clear warm days, as opposed to countries far to the north where the sun barely shines at all during the winter months.
Good visibility, clear crisp air, the "smell of rain" - and the green landscape fills with flowers: Shoshana Damari sang "Anemones, anemones, reddish red-haired anemones, graceful anemones" in the wonderful song by Natan Alterman and Moshe Wilensky.
From the theme song for the children's television program Carousel, which described the seasons of the year:
"So come whirl round on the carousel Down and up and all around,
So come whirl round on the carousel
In summer, winter, autumn and spring...
Author, translator and poet