Seasons in Taiwan

Hi, I’m very curious to know what is considered to be the “official” seasons for Taiwan.

I have a friend (Chinese Taiwanese) who’s 8 yo daughter is learning English… One of the questions for her homework was to write (in English) the Months of the year and the seasons. To my astonishment my friend was adamant that Winter went from Nov to Jan and the other seasons varied in length and different start months to what I was taught at school in Australia.

She rang and asked other friends of hers, but they had different start months to her!!!

I’ve asked Taiwanese men and women at work, (with University degrees and international living & working experience in the USA) and they can’t agree on the dates for Seasons. I’m really confused… is there something I just don’t understand. One said Winter starts on 7th Nov, another said beginning of Nov, another Jan and one even said February!!!

This site has the following:
"[i]The seasons in Taiwan are actually not very much differentiated. The climate can be described as having only summer and winter during the year.

The summer climate starts from February to October and the temperature can be as high as 35 degrees during the daytime or as low as 23 degrees during the nighttime. Northern Taiwan is generally more humid while the south is warmer and dryer.

Remember to bring umbrellas with you wherever you go during the rainy seasons (May and June) and be more careful when you go out during the typhoon days in July and August. For the rest of the time, enjoy your summer and have fun in the beaches!

The winter climate starts from November to January and is not as cold as in South Korea, Japan or China. The temperature is normally over 15 degrees, unless there is a cold wave where the temperature can drop as low as 9 degrees.[/i]"

The site is describing climate, which is not the same as season, but sheds no light on the subject for me.

To me, coming from Australia, Summer is 1st Dec to end Feb, Autumn (Fall) is 1st Mar to end May, Winter is 1st Jun to end Aug, Spring is 1st Sep to end Nov. So, in the Northern Hemisphere the seasons are just the opposite, replace Winter for Summer and Spring for Autumn etc.

I know (just like in Northern Australia) that some countries only have two Climates, effectively Summer and Winter, but surely all countries teach their students there are 4 seasons in a year???

Maybe the Chinese culture has no relation to our “Western Seasons” and only uses an agricultural calendar. I may need to go back and apologize profusely to my friend for not understanding this. Never-the-less there still doesn’t seem to be an understanding by Taiwanese of seasons and how the “Western Seasons” relate to “Taiwan Seasons”.

Can anyone explain all this to me and why there should be such little knowledge of this by the Taiwan people?

By my reckoning there are 3 distinct seasons in Taiwan. All

  1. Northeast Wind rainy season starts approx. after mid-autumn festival and rains all the way to tomb-sweeping. This is followed by 2. Monsoon rainy season that starts about the tomb-sweeping holiday and goes on into Summer which is followed by 3., the Typhoon Season. July to Aug./Sept.

Repeat cycle.

You realize how close Taiwan is to the tropics, right? (ie straddling one, making it partly tropical). This is obviously going to mean the seasons are markedly different to Australia’s. The concept of four distinct seasons doesn’t really seem to apply once you get about halfway down each hemisphere anyway. Hell, even in the North Island of NZ you’d be hard pressed to differentiate Spring from Winter and Summer (at each end) these days.

Also, “Feedback and Announcements”?

Well, I’ve heard that this isn’t actually the case in the US - “official” seasons are related to the equinoxes in some way. I think. I’m from Australia too, so don’t take my word on this - I’m just saying I suspect it’s not the same everywhere :slight_smile:

My post is just asking “Why is it not common knowledge what the months for seasons are?”. It’s not a difficult or trick question. It’s got nothing to do with what way the wind blows or how long before the ice melts in Sopporo etc etc.

It doesn’t matter where you’re situated in the Northern Hemisphere, or even if you’re sitting right on the equator. For north of the equator: Winter is Dec-Feb, Spring is Mar to May, Summer is Jun to Aug and Fall is Sep to Nov. Am I wrong??? It may be hot all year where you live, so efffectively you never experience anything but an all year summer, but that doesn’t stop people from learning what months of the year the 4 seasons fall into.

I ask friends and collegues here in Taiwan and it’s like I’ve asked one of the most difficult questions in the world. I thought everyone with an education would know this easy answer.

Yes it does matter. On the equator they have no winter. In the arctic/antarctic they just have summer and winter (aka day and night :laughing:). Just because you’re used to there being four distinct seasons doesn’t mean it’s a Universal Truth.

I know there are the equinox’s and local farming “seasons” etc. My question is just in regard to the general months for the seasons. The months that are used in normal conversation without relation to any yearly positioning of the earth etc.

Who says there’s even any “official” definition of each season here anyway? Why would there be? And back home - again - the only “official” definition anyone knows is that Spring supposedly starts on September 1st. It’s largely a subjective judgement and a sliding scale anyway, it’s not like the weather suddenly changes on one specific day. Of course you’re going to get different answers from different people.

I blame Toe Save. It’s another of his ‘outside the box’ things. Why can’t the seasons just stay neatly compartmentalized and the same everywhere? Sounds like a job for the EU. I bet they’ll be able to come up with a standard definition for summer that everyone can agree to.

There may be official dates for things that happen at certain times of the year - such as the beginning/end of British Summer Time - but summer/winter is purely subjective. It’s summer when it gets hot. Then it cools down and it’s autumn. Then it gets cold and it’s winter. This happens at different times in different places, and in different years, and also depends on your point of view. Never heard the phrase ‘summer started late this year’? Never heard of a long winter? Never heard someone from Michigan bitching about the heat while others are enjoying the balmy days before the real summer?

Winter ends when the population agree that spring has arrived. When I was a kid it was still winter until the first plants - snowdrops and crocuses if I remember correctly - flowered. That happened earlier the further south you travelled, until you reached a place where the plants flowered all year round and they didn’t have summer/winter as we know it. Taiwan is just the same, only more untidy. What do you expect?

I’m surprised that there are no clear boundaries for anything really. Here we are at the beginning of November and no-one knows whether it’s Autumn or Winter, or whether this is a ‘Feedback’ question relating to forumosa, or whether it should be in ‘Living in Taiwan’ or somewhere. I guess things are whatever you want to call them, and it doesn’t really matter.

When I was in high school the heating came on on whatever date the government ordained was the start of winter, regardless of the actual weather, then it was turned off again at the ‘end’ of winter even though - on one occasion - there was still snow on the ground outside. I prefer vaguer definitions myself.

You are right mate!!

I think the problem/confusion you’ve caused with your question is due to the fact that traditionally the seasons are determined according to the Chinese Calendar, which is a so called lunisolar calendar, combining a Lunar Calendar with a Solar Calendar and fixing certain dates, holidays, festivals and the seasons to the moonphases etc… So it’s a hard question for the Chinese to answer if you’d like them to define their seasons by months as known in the Gregorian Calendar - they change every years. Plus, I think what was said about your location on the planet and the local climate there is absolutely true, I’m sure some desert tribes don’t know any seasons, or they’d surprise us and have maybe 20 seasons which we wouldn’t be able to tell apart at all (kind of like the myriad of words for snow the Inuit have …) … Xpet.

Found this: (more at

M Chinese Name Date Translation
立春 l

Thanks everyone for your comments and help, especially Xpet. I can see there is a vast range of opinions on weather, even among the Western people. I blindly assumed the “Western allocation” of seasons was know all over. You live and learn. I have some appologising to do :blush:

I opine there is a hot dry summer, Jun. - Sep., punctuated by typhoons and thunderstorms. Fall Oct-Dec. is mostly dry, cooler, some rainy periods, nicest time of year. Wet season extends from Dec. to May, with long drizzly periods expected throughout, lots of grey skies and nice days at a premium. Obviously this season starts with cold fronts sweeping through and pushing the temperature down for some days, and gradually wrming up through the spring.

… shouldn’t this be moved to the “Living in Taiwan” forum??

There is a dry season?!? You, sir, must surely be joking.

I agree.


Come on, it depends on where you are. I come from a place in the Northern Hemisphere where the only month it has never snowed is July. True, snow in August is pretty rare, and not too common in June, but still … I defy you to call a March day where there’s a foot of snow on the ground and the temperature is -30 a spring day.

When I posted this query I thought I was in the “Living In Taiwan” area. But… the gremlins took over and put it in here. If someone can move it all to the right forum I’d appreciate it, thanks.

BTW, I’m glad at least a couple of people agree with me regarding the general period for Northern Hemisphere seasons. I don’t dispute that the Artic has a 364 day winter :slight_smile: , but I was only curious to know what was generally taught to students in Taiwan as to what months seasons fall into.

I know they learn that there is Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, but I’m surprised there is not a generally common notion of what months apply to which season.

What really surprised me is that most Chinese adults that I’ve spoken to here in Taiwan cannot agree on the seasons at all, this leaves me speechless.

Thanks for all your comments, I have learnt a few things from you all.

There’s a good summary of the seasons here:
Not only does it give examples of how different countries have different definitions about when the seasons are, but also mentions that some Australians believe there are 6 seasons a year!

I’m amazed too - a culture whose biggest annual festival is the start of Spring (and 2nd biggest is mid-Autumn festival) should really know about these things.

Incidentally, according to the Chinese calender, Spring started on January 22nd this year - which is, I believe, the earliest (Western calendar) date possible.