We have been waiting for so long, but it’s done: Spring has finally arrived!
March has been quite glorious, over here, and actually made us feel we were in spring way earlier than its official starting date. We got warm days, blue skies, and amazing sunshine. It was not official, but it was spring no matter what.
Now that it is official, though, it started raining. I knew this was supposed to happen, but I decided to write a post about spring anyway. It’s such a nice time that it deserves its own proper post. Moreover, I thought it could be a perfect topic for another Italian vocabulary series post.
Well, let’s talk about spring then!
Primavera (spring) usually comes on March 21st, which is il primo giorno di primavera (the first day of spring). But actually, there’s something special that takes place just a few days before. On March 19th, we celebrate la festa di San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph’s Day). Quite a few towns in Italy celebrate Saint Joseph’s as their patron saint.
Therefore, I am sure that there are feste di piazza (street parties), balli (dances), giochi per bambini (games for the kids) and lots of food, of course. The most traditional dish for Saint Joseph’s Day is zeppole di San Giuseppe, fritters filled with pastry cream, which originally come from Naples but are actually popular everywhere nowadays.
But Saint Joseph’s Day is special for another reason as well: on such day, we celebrate la festa del papà (Father’s Day). As everywhere else in the world, it is a day when i bambini festeggiano i papà (the kids celebrate their fathers) by giving them regali (presents) or some lavoretti (DIYs usually done in school). Well, even if we are not kids anymore, we all facciamo gli auguri (give wishes) to our fathers.
Spring is actually a time for feasts and public holidays, here in Italy.
Obviously, there’s Pasqua (Easter) but I’ll write a specific post about it as soon as the holiday approaches, and there are il venticinque aprile (April 25th), il primo maggio (May 1st) and il due giugno (June 2nd).
On April 25th, we celebrate il giorno della liberazione (Liberation Day), when we commemorate the end of the Italian Civil War and the end of Nazi occupation during World War II. On May 1st, we celebrate la festa del lavoro (Labour Day), while June 2nd is la festa della Repubblica (Republic Day).
These are all feste nazionali (national holidays), which means that people do not work and enjoy their free time. If they fall on a Thursday or a Tuesday, we can fare il ponte, which literally means “doing a bridge”, meaning that we take a day off and we enjoy four free days.
During these days, you can andare in vacanza (go on holiday), or simply fare una gita (go for a day trip). If the weather is nice, you can fare un picnic (do a picnic), una festa in giardino (a garden party) or una grigliata (to do a barbecue).
What do you like doing in the spring?
I love fare passeggiate (to go for walks) and scattare fotografie (to take photographs). I especially like to take pictures of fiori (flowers): my favorite spring wildflowers are primule (primroses), viole (violets) and margherite (daisies). In the garden, I like tulipani (tulips), narcisi (narcissi) and giacinti (hyacinths). I also like lavorare in giardino (to do gardening). I like seminare (to plant seeds) and piantare fiori (to plant flowers).
But now tell me, how’s spring where you live?
I hope you’ll find this post useful for your vocabulary building. If you like this kind of vocabulary posts, these are the other ones:
If you have specific requests for topics and themes, just leave a comment here below or send me an email at cinzia@instantlyitaly.
I have prepared a pdf file with all the words and phrases we learned in this post. You can find it in Your Italian Toolbox, a section of Instantly Italy where you’ll find Italian learning materials. You can get access to it by subscribing here.
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