Pakistan is Monsoon Land. There are four seasons – Summer, Winter, Spring and Autumn during a year. It is land of mighty mountains, gurgling and murmuring rivers, fertile valleys and plains, parch semi-desert (Thar) and sparkling beaches. Nature has distributed her bounties all over the country. She produces a variety of crops and fruits according to the seasons.
A major part of the country is situated in the north temperate zone. It becomes cooler as you travel from south the north, or from the sea level to the mountainous regions of the north. The severity of heat and cold also varies accordingly. The summers are hot and dry. Rainfall is rather scanty. The winters are cold and pleasant. Quetta and Northern’s Areas have heavy snowfall. For the same reason thousands of foreign tourists and visitors are attracted during the cold winters.
The winter season lasts from November to February. The nights are longer than the days. Hill stations like Murree, Ayubia, Nathiagali and Kalabagh are sometimes screened by misty clouds during the day. Deep snowfall and glaciers block. the passage to the Kaghan Valley and Lake Saif-ul-Muluk situated at a height of 111,00 feet. Quetta, Gilgit, Swat, and Skardu are below freezing point during winter. The last touches the lowest-minus twenty (- 20).
The Punjab and NWFP are cold and Sind is moderately cold. The temperatures in Baluchistan vary according to the height. Ziarat is snow-clad during December and January, Some times the chilly Quetta winds make Sind (including Karachi) extremely cold. The cold is simply unbearable. Winter rains, if any, further drop the temperature. On the whole winters are not as rigorous as summers.
Winter is generally welcome by the people. It brings a message of relief and joy for them. The rich generally install electric heaters. The poor sit around the five or grates when it is too cold. People drink lot of tea and coffee. Dry fruits like almond, pasta, figs and apricot are the gifts of winter. The common men can enjoy plenty of juicy fruits like oranges, kino, malta, fruiter and Mosambi. The warm clothes that had been washed and stored, are again taken out for use. The rich especially display their clothes and fashions. One can eat and digest more and build health.
In Pakistan winter is also harvesting season. The farmers are busy in reaping and winnowing the crops. Children, old men and animals love to bask in the sun. Basking is good for health. One can work longer without being tired. After the harvesting is over, the rustics amuse themselves with folk songs and dances. It is also the season for celebrating marriages. The end of winter brings Shelley’s line to the mind:
‘If winter comes, shall spring be far behind.’