When I first came to Japan, I was very surprised that spring traditionally begins on February fourth. However, it’s been explained that this is indeed spring…the earth is preparing to open up and grow new life.
I’m not a farmer or a gardener…but take a look at this photo.
This photo shows a plum blossom tree. I took the photo yesterday morning (February fourth.) Plum blossom trees are early bloomers in spring. They don’t get the attention of cherry blossom trees, but neverthless they are a strong part of Japanese culture.
This is a close-up of that plum blossom tree. You can see that even though it is early February, it has started budding. So for traditional Japanese people, that meant that spring was here.
Yes, it will probably snow again. (In fact, we had a dusting of snow this morning.) But despite the cold, new life has begun.