Spring is Already in the Air!
There is a saying in Spain that locals often use around this time. “Hasta el 40 de mayo no te quites el sayo” – or “Until 40 May don’t take off your coat”. Essentially this means that, even though tonight (10.58pm in mainland Spain) is the spring equinox, we might still have some chilly moments until 9 June – so best not to pack away the warm clothes just yet.
There is another theory about the saying’s origins dating to a 17th century brothel in Madrid, but this has no relevance to the Costa del Sol so we won’t digress any further. Returning to the weather then...
In reality, certainly on the Costa del Sol, we have been enjoying sporadic “spring” weather since the start of the year. In fact, there are few other places in Europe where you can relatively comfortably wear short sleeves on New Year’s Day while enjoying an al fresco lunch on the beach promenade. Not every day during winter, of course, and perhaps only short sleeves for hardy souls from the north, but plenty of days with azure skies and pleasantly moderate temperatures.
Sun-Filled Days for Planning... or Partying
Tourist brochures and blogs often claim that the Costa del Sol has more than 300 days of sunshine a year. This is no exaggerated boast. When it rains, it can pour down just as impressively as in more traditional sodden climes, but those of us who already live on the Costa del Sol or are dreaming of buying a home here, will – other than in exceptional circumstances – be guaranteed incomparable weather most of the time. Indeed, spring-like weather in the latter part of winter often seems to merge almost seamlessly into early-summer weather in mid-spring.
Another wonderful aspect of spring on the Costa del Sol is that it offers such a great diversity of options.
For those who subscribe to the Leo Tolstoy theory – “Spring is the time of plans and projects” – it is ideal for spring cleaning or other productive endeavours. For others more in tune with Robin Williams’ mantra, before his sad passing – “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!’” – the Coast has few rivals when it comes to robust revelry.
Full Moon, Easter... and Happiness
This year’s spring equinox is also accompanied by the rising of a full Moon (Thursday 21 March at 2.42am). According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, “The last time the full Moon and the spring equinox coincided this closely (four hours apart) was in March 2000.
“This full Moon is also a supermoon, meaning the Moon will be nearly at its closest to Earth for the month of March. It’s the year’s third (and final) of three straight full supermoons. This means that the Moon may ‘appear’ brighter and bigger than normal, provided the night sky is clear and dark.”
The proximity of this month’s full moon with the spring equinox also explains why Easter is later this year. “Generally, the first full Moon of a northern hemisphere spring heralds the imminent coming of the Christian celebration of Easter. Since Easter Sunday – by proclamation – occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring, some of us might expect the upcoming Sunday on 24 March to be Easter Sunday. However, by ecclesiastical rules, the equinox is fixed on 21 March, so that places this year’s Easter Sunday (for western Christendom) on 21 April 2019.”
Meanwhile, if the equinox isn’t sufficient reason to put a joyful spring in our steps, today is also the United Nation’s “International Day of Happiness”. This year’s theme is “Happier Together” – focusing on “what we have in common, rather than what divides us”.