Winter, the last and first season of the year. Hate it or love it, its importance cannot be ignored. As much as we would love to stay in summer or spring forever and enjoy the warmth and life from it, winter is just as important and can be just as enjoyable. However, people take this season for granted, ignoring it as a part of their life.
Bonding with people is some of the most important things in life. We’re driven to be around people. Winter holds some of the most important holidays surrounding this idea of bonding. Most noticeably at Christmas, people give each other presents and gifts for one specific day- besides birthdays. This selflessness of spending God knows how much money on people is quite phenomenal. Like Chihiro from Spirited Away learning to become humble in her time in the spirit realm. Learning to give things away to people ends with good fortune and friends.
Hanukkah is also celebrated similarly, people come around to celebrate each other for eight nights; lighting the menorah, playing the game of dreidel, and eating. Kwanzaa is celebrated to honor the seven principles (known as Nguzo Saba). It’s also celebrated with people by playing games, eating, storytelling, and more. What these popular holidays all have in common is people coming together and spending time with each other. Similarly to the Mojave Phone Booth people want “[…]to tell their story and they want someone to listen to their story” (Doc Daniels). These holidays encourage people to bond and learn about each other. People won’t feel they’re “[…]at the edge of your vision” (Huntington). It’s the time of the season when people come together to feel seen, whether with friends or with family.
The coldest season however doesn’t always have the nicest meaning. It’s after the harvest, when nothing grows, which is a struggle for many people. It’s cold, which causes many people to fall ill. However, through this struggle, good things come out of it. In The Story of the Chinese Farmer; shared by a fellow student, the farmer goes through great struggles before great fortune comes. He goes through this cycle- almost similar to the seasonal cycle, good turning to bad and bad turning to good. Furthermore on the topic of good after the winter, people come out of winter surviving. Diwali is a celebration of overcoming struggles, celebrated in the fall. People light Diyas, which are candles in celebration of human determination. While winter itself is the struggle, it’s working through that struggle that shows the strength in humanity from getting so far even with its yearly complications. It’s a reminder that victory is near and that things will be better after the season.
However, moving forward with winter’s struggles, we can still reap some of its rewards. Fall is the harvest season and we stock up for the season so that in the winter, people will have something on the table. The short film Scavengers showcases this gathering and harvest of materials. The characters go around the planet scavenging for items and natural resources so that they can reap the rewards in the end. To apply this in a more modern sense, people begin to save money to buy and give gifts to loved ones. Some cultures give money to young people during Lunar New Year. With all the things we gather from the year, we share them with our friends and family during the winter.
While winter will always be a struggling season, it’s important to acknowledge it for what the season is; complicated. It’s one of the most important seasons of the year, packed with tons of meaning and traditions. It’s a season that, while appreciated, should be more appreciated than just the cold weather.