It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, with hot weather, long days and beach vacations. It is the Noongar season of Birak, the season of the young, and is usually accompanied by the easing of rain, warm weather and afternoons that are cooled by sea breezes.
As that fire rating sign creeps up, it reminds us that Birak is traditionally the karl (fire) season for the Noongar people. This was the time of the year when the winds would blow from the east in the morning then change to west throughout the day. The Noongar people would use this to begin burning the land, for multiple reasons.This included fuel reduction, supporting the grazing pastures for animals such as the yonga (kangaroo), aiding seed germination or simply to help them move around the country more easily. The Noongar people would hunt mammals with gidjies (spears) and kylies (boomerangs), but during this time seafood would become more prevalent within their diets.
Baby frogs will be transforming into adulthood, reptiles will start shedding their skins and fledglings will begin to leave their nests.
Yellow-orange flowers will start to bloom, the most prevalent being the moodjar (WA native Christmas tree), which will burst into fiery colour. This tree is far more than just a beautiful sight, it is of major cultural significance to the Noongar people.
For these holidays, enjoy the long, warm days, the beautiful flora and fauna, and lots of seafood feasts – because soon enough it’ll be 2023 and the fishing season of Bunuru!
The Aboriginal six-season calendar varies for different groups throughout the state and across Australia. It acts as an extremely important guide, outlining what nature is doing at every stage of the year, and how to live safely, sustainably, and respectfully in relation to the land, plant and animal cycles and the preservation of environmental ecosystems.