Behind every regular holiday …
Is a water-cycle spin on the day’s events.
A hydrologic holiday doesn’t replace the old meaning of the term. For example, Groundhog Day is still Groundhog Day, especially if you live up north. But more properly conceived for the water cycle of south Florida, Groundhog Day is better understood as occurring on Labor Day. The first Monday of September, not the second day of February, signals six more weeks of grueling heat and humidity in south Florida.
Other examples include shifting New Years to May 1st to coincide the annual calendar with the start of the first month of the wet season, coopting St. Patrick’s Day as the green out of the cypress trees, and use of Memorial Day as the official start of the summer afternoon rains.
Does every holiday have a water-cycle spin? Some more than others to be sure, but without a doubt there’s something to be said about the weather patterns and water cycle happenings that occur on or around that date. The holidays and their hydrologic counterparts are convenient milestones to tune into the natural world around us.
Here’s a list of some of the major water holidays:
- May 1st – Start of the water year
- Memorial Day – Start of the summer afternoon rains
- July 4th – Start of the mid summer lull
- Labor Day – Florida Ground hog day (6 more weeks of summer)
- Columbus Day – End of the summer afternoon rains
- Halloween – Last day of the 6-month wet season
- Veterans Day – Clear skies of the dry season ahead
- Thanksgiving – A time to be thankful for the water cycle
- January 1st – Start of the calendar year
- MLK Day – Water retreats to the cypress domes
- Groundhog Day – see Labor Day
- Valentines Day – A day to profess our love for water
- St. Patricks Day – Green out of the cypress trees
- April Fools – Start of spring drought season in the swamp
Most of all, hydrologic holidays are fun. Who doesn’t love and look forward to a holiday or the holiday season? Adding water to the mix just makes them all the better.