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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

'Accept the good with the bad': advice from elders as summer sets in

According to the ancient Gulf almanac, April is a turbulent period before the heat begins

Temperatures were forecast to hit 44C in some parts but cool weather could also continue. Chris Whiteoak / The National 
Temperatures were forecast to hit 44C in some parts but cool weather could also continue. Chris Whiteoak / The National 

With temperatures creeping into the mid-forties, it is no secret that the hot season is nearly on us.

Temperatures were forecast to reach up to 44°C in the interior this weekend but windy days and occasional cool evenings could continue for a few more weeks.

The traditional Gulf almanac, or Al Drour calender, identifies this as the turbulent period before summer.

April signals the end of spring, said Hasan Al Hariri, chief executive of Dubai Astronomy Group and a man who has spent years recording traditional almanacs.

“The kind of oscillation that happens in the spring, this oscillation will stop towards the end of May when the heat will be permanent,” said Mr Al Hariri. The 365-day Al Drour calendar measures the year in 10-day cycles that can be calculated by the movements of stars. It has has guided the behaviour of farmers and mariners for hundreds of years.

It counts four seasons – 100 days of autumn, winter, spring and 60 days of intense heat, Al Qaiz. Five days are added for unpredictable weather. “In the past, we connected ourselves with the activities with the stars to understand things more clearly,” said Mr Al Hariri. “People today might not see so many differences between the seasons and why? Because they are living in indoor environments. So they are seeing only hot or cold. But for the ancient people, these small differences were very obvious.”

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Appearance of Suhail means summer is drawing to a close

Switching seasons are written in the stars

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When late August comes, the star Suhail (Canopus) will appear in the southern skies in the early hours before sunrise and the cool weather will be on its way once again.

In the meantime, Mr Al Hariri urged the public to embrace the heat and the relaxed pace that comes with the summer months.

“Every season has its own rhythm and we have to work around it, not against it,” said Mr Al Hariri. “Summer is a kind of blessing that we have to work with and brings a good season, the season of dates.”

“Accept the good with the bad. That was the most important element of our ancestors. Accept the elements as they are and work with them, don’t work against them. They survived with the heat and they worked with it.”