Winter/Summer and Summer/Winter in Equatorial Countries

With the solstice and upon noticing various internet references to the “December Solstice” rather than “Winter Solstice”, I got to wondering if any equatorial countries are large enough for it to really be noticeable that the folks up north have their winter while the folks down south have their summer.

I figured the largest equatorial country would have to be India and I surmised that India is definitely large enough for a difference to be noted. Only . . . I was very wrong about India being an equatorial country. It doesn’t even come close.

It seems (just eyeballing it from a map) that The Democratic Republic (ha!) of The Congo is the largest country with a significant area on both sides of the equator. Now, even if there is not enough of a significant weather difference, culturally there is so much that ties to the seasons- festivals and such (though, equatorial countries, for all I know, may be an exception to this).

Do any equatorial countries even note this at all? In official state communication that may address the time of year? Cases of mismatched folklore among people from the north and south?

List of Equatorial Countries

I seem to recall that at least some tropical areas reckon a dry season and a rainy season.

In the pacific coast of Costa Rica (which is only tropical) they call “winter” the rainy season and “summer” the dry one - it’s actually flipped vs. the northern hemisphere’s official winter and summer but it’s simply a matter of equating “winter” with “bad weather” and “summer” with “hot, dry, let’s go to the beach”. Countries such as Ecuador, Colombia or Brazil have weather regions which aren’t divided by the equator but by actual accidents of geography, and festive traditions which don’t much care whether you happen to be on the northern or southern half of the country.

Indonesia probably has about the same north/south spread over the Equator as DR Congo. Winter/Summer really doesn’t mean anything there. There’s dry season / hot season and monsoon.

Monsoon sometimes comes at different times of year on opposite east west coasts of various island or peninsulas in SE Asia, so yes in that sense different parts of the same country can be in different “seasons”.

I lived in Uganda for a year, which is equatorial. There were basically two rainy seasons and two dry seasons. Winter/summer was pretty much irrelevant, and the sun rose at six and set around six every day.

As has been said, in equatorial countries the seasons are not based on differences in temperature, but on differences in rainfall. Close to the Equator, there will be two rainy and two dry seasons each year. As you get farther north or south, the intensity of one pair of seasons becomes less until you eventually have just one dry and one wet season. These will be reversed in areas north and south of the Equator.

Most of Panama, which is at 9 North, has a strong dry season from mid December to April. This is known as the “verano” (summer). The rainy season, or “invierno” (winter), extends from May to mid December, with the heaviest rains in May and October-November. There is a break of a few weeks in September known as the “veranillo” (little summer). However, on the Caribbean coast there are some areas where it rains pretty much all year round.