Beauty and the beast: Season of love, among other things

February is commonly associated with its shorter month, Leap Year, and of course, Valentine’s Day. However, February is a festive season filled with various other notable celebrations and events as well.

For example, February is Black History Month. In addition, Mardi Gras, the Superbowl, and the more obscure celebration of Groundhog Day falls in February this year. I always thought the concept of Groundhog Day was peculiar. On Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, a furry groundhog determines the length of winter. If he sees his shadow, winter entails six more weeks. If he doesn’t see his shadow, we embrace an earlier spring.

Why does a groundhog, of all animals, decide the duration of winter? Is there a specific groundhog used each year, or is there a different groundhog randomly assigned each year? What happens if the groundhog dies or doesn’t show up? There are a lot more questions, and a quick skim of Wikipedia did not really answer them.

It seems to stem from myths and beliefs that animals awaken at certain times. And although apparently 80 percent of the time the groundhog sees his shadow, calling for six extra weeks of winter, for this year’s Groundhog Day, the groundhog did not see his shadow, resulting in an early spring!

There are definitely different perks of each season, even in California where the seasons blur and aren’t so distinct, but springtime is my favorite time of the year, weather wise at least.

California springs are nice, clearly displayed in this week’s weather in Davis. The days are bright and sunny, yet not harsh enough to burn my skin, break a sweat or be uncomfortable. There’s also a slight fresh breeze present, reminding me of the Bay Area where I’m from.

Davis spring not only brightens my mood, it brightens my wardrobe too. I am incorporating fun, bright spring colors and pastels and slowly replacing the typical maroon, greys and dark blue staples of winter.

I can wear virtually anything because it’s not too hot or too chilly. Today my roommate and I walked to the G line together. After a late night and waking up with barely any time to get ready, I hurriedly gathered my belongings and walked out of the apartment wearing a light sweater and leggings. My roommate was on the other spectrum, sporting shorts, jeans, boots and a tank.

What I absolutely love doing is pairing my summer and winter wardrobe for spring. I can wear my favorite sundresses or destroyed denim jeans and pair them with winter accessories like cardigans, scarves and tights. It’s like having the best of both worlds. I find the contrast refreshing and weather appropriate.

Contrasting colors and playing with different patterns and textures is also something to consider this spring.

The traditional Mardi Gras colors, purple, green and gold are a great example of contrasting colors making an outfit stand out and pop. The colors represent justice, power and faith, respectively.

Unlike Groundhog Day, Mardi Gras’ origins are much less muddy. This celebration originates from preparing for the Catholic season of Lent.

This year, Lent started on February 13. So for all those people with a significant other who are participating in Lent as well as Valentine’s Day, plan accordingly. If you plan on giving up chocolate, make sure your significant other is aware of this! Otherwise, it could lead to some hurt feelings and a not so happy Valentine’s Day.

I know Valentine’s Day is a holiday that evokes mixed feelings. I can understand how a day to celebrate love between one and a loved one would be enjoyable. However, just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t ensure a smooth Valentines Day. The holiday sets up high, maybe unideal, expectations that may lead to stress and disappointment. If you’re in a rocky relationship, it may be a make-or-break factor.

All in all, whether your feelings of Valentine’s Day are negative or positive, it is a great excuse to dress up, impress and find a Valentine for next year.

 

EUGENIA CHUNG can be reached at ehchung@ucdavis.edu.

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