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CALENDARS across the world

Bergen, Norway and the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand have been the project’s base. However, there are a growing number of accounts of communities worldwide facing seasonal change.

A collage of three images: Landscapes in Coromandel and Bergen and a circular indigenous calendar
Images from the Coromandel Peninsula (top), Bergen (bottom left) and visual representation of the calendars of Indigenous Australians according to particular ecological signs and practices (recorded by McKeney and colleagues (2020) - https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030995)
Top: Kerstie van Zandvoort, bottom left: Anne Blanchard, bottom right: McKemey et. al. (2020)


Therefore, CALENDARS was also linked to other projects and initiatives across the world.

Bergen, Norway

Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with almost 300.000 inhabitants, located on the west coast. Bergen’s port is the busiest in Norway, making the city a centre for maritime business and research. Situated where moist air from the Atlantic Ocean, enhanced by proximate warm ocean currents,  meets the seven mountains surrounding Bergen, the city’s climate is mild and rainy. Although prepared for heavy rainfall, Bergen’s water systems are at full capacity and vulnerable to higher sea levels and increased rainfall. 

During the project period the CALENDARS team has explored seasonal calendars with groups organized to different seasonal rhythms and patterns in a broad spectrum of institutionalized fields of activity, including: 

  • A primary and a secondary school

  • A café

  • An artist atelier

  • The arboretum

  • The community of local beekeepers 

  • The Climate Futures Scientific Research Centre Developing seasonal forecasts 

 The Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

The Coromandel Peninsula (Coromandel), with a population of around 27.600 people, lies in the northeast of New Zealand’s North Island. Due to its characteristic beaches, clear waters, forest-clad hills, while close to the main centers of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga, it is New Zealand's favourite holiday destination attracting about half a million visitors in the Christmas/New Year period alone. 

People of the Coromandel, as elsewhere in New Zealand, draw on a portfolio of representations to navigate the seasons, from local and traditional knowledge to the scientific “seasonal summaries” prepared by the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere. But there is a growing gap between the expected seasons in the area, and the weather and natural phenomena experienced as climate change is seen through “relatively warm temperaturesthroughout the year”.

The research in the Coromandel have focused on the peninsula’s seasonal cultures with a specific focus on the following groups: 

  • Kontunu Coastcare groups and their organizational partners including local government, local maori tribes and the Department of Conservation

  • A primary school and a secondary school 

  • An amateur creative writing group. 

Looking wider: changing seasonality in other communities worldwide

CALENDARS broadened its perspective in three main ways. First, the project's research concepts and methods were emulated in sister projects that share a strong "family resemblance" to CALENDARS. Notably two associated Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) projects, HAAA in Austria and CANALS in Germany, and a master's course at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, USA. 

Second, we published material targeted to a broad spectrum of audiences worldwide; both research articles pushing international research on climate adaptation and culture in new directions and a transdisciplinary popular science book focusing on changing seasonality in different places.

A third line of enquiry looks at how seasons are being transformed into universal categories at a global scale through two case studies where countries, Norway and India, have sought to register seasons as UNESCO cultural heritage.