Spring begins in Vietnam, particularly in the south, in late January or early February. Its arrival is announced by the Têt celebration on the first day of the lunar new year, as narrated in Last of the Annamese. Spring lasts, in the southern third of Vietnam, until May or June. With summer comes the monsoons characterized by brief downpours like open fire hoses several times a day followed by overwhelming heat.
Spring, for the Vietnamese, is a happy time on new beginnings. The weather, by Vietnamese standards, is fresh and cool, only rarely getting much above 95 degrees—if my memory is correct. And the Têt holiday is by far the biggest festivity of the year. Flowers, the symbol of spring, are everywhere during Têt.
The onset of the monsoons signals the end of spring and the beginning of the grueling summer. My sense is that the Vietnamese do not greet summer joyfully. The monsoons were especially unwelcome in 1975. They began early, on 29 April, the day Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese.