The shop around the corner from me has a small sign in the window that counts down the days until spring. Now we're down to 15, as the spring equinox arrives on March 20th (on some years it falls out on the 21st). But in the Jewish calendar, spring arrives even earlier. Tuesday, March 12th is Rosh Chodesh Nissan.
Nissan is the month associated with the advent of spring and the holiday of Pesach [Passover]. One of the names for the holiday is Chag H'aviv, the holiday of spring. This Shabbos is called Shabbos mevorchim because on the Shabbos when we bless the upcoming month of Nissan, we add on a special section of Torah reading called Parshas Hachodesh. That is one of the special Sabbaths named for their portion, like Zachor, Shkalim, and Parah.
You can begin your celebration of the arrival of the month of spring this weekend. Discover your own signs of spring in New York. Look for Passover products, buy some spring clothes for the holiday, or plant some spring flowers to remind you of the natural cycle of blooming revival.
Even though cold, wintry weather is in the forecast for this week, Still, I have noticed signs of spring in my own New York neighborhood since my first crocus bloomed in February.Now daffodils and tulips are pushing up leaves to follow suit. These early bloomers are usually hardy enough to withstand some of the lion's share of March.