After a long winter, spring is finally here. Flowers including crocus, narcissi, daffodils, muscari and the stalwart dandelion and daisy are bringing colour to the landscape, and blossom is emerging on the trees.
Winter birds are flying home, tadpoles are turning into frogs and before long, ducklings will be appearing along the canal and waterways.
As the days brighten, help nature shine by getting involved with the Great British Spring Clean – a litter picking campaign run by Keep Britain Tidy. Hundreds of people have already collected bags of rubbish to help stem the flow of plastic to the sea and protect wildlife from rubbish humans have left behind. There are organised litter picks running nationwide so get involved.
Spring is a time of renewal according to folklore (and nature). You may choose to spring clean. The Washington Post reported that the biggest annual clean was commonly in spring in the 1800s as homes would be covered in soot after a winter of heating and lighting using kerosene. As cleaning required opening windows, it was left until spring.
Various religions also connect spring with cleaning: unsurprising, as it makes sense to give everything a thorough clean as the days become brighter (and dirt more visible).
Using home made cleaning products will help reduce plastic waste and make your home smell lovely. It’s easy to make your own products, and uses many ingredients you may well already have in your cupboards. Just add aromatherapy oil depending on your preference.
You can brighten your home with spring flowers but avoid having a solo daffodil as it’s thought to bring bad luck (though seeing the first daffodils of the year is apparently lucky.) I prefer bowls of bulbs to cut flowers, bringing life into the house.
While it may be tempting to tidy the garden, spare a thought for the pollinators. Dandelions are a great source of pollen at this time of year, and allowing wildflowers to thrive will help encourage butterflies and wildlife as the year progresses: a great excuse to forget about mowing the lawn.
For more folklore and customs from around the world, follow #FolkloreThursday on Twitter @FolkloreThurs.