As a result, the coldest January on record in Stockholm , in , was also the sunniest. Accumulations of snow and ice are commonly associated with winter in the Northern Hemisphere, due to the large land masses there. In this region, snow occurs every year in elevated regions such as the Andes, the Great Dividing Range in Australia, and the mountains of New Zealand, and also occurs in the southerly Patagonia region of South Argentina.
Snow occurs year-round in Antarctica. In the Northern Hemisphere , some authorities define the period of winter based on astronomical fixed points i. In one version of this definition, winter begins at the winter solstice and ends at the vernal equinox.
Stay healthy in winter
Astronomically, the winter solstice, being the day of the year which has fewest hours of daylight, ought to be in the middle of the season,   but seasonal lag means that the coldest period normally follows the solstice by a few weeks. In some cultures, the season is regarded as beginning at the solstice and ending on the following equinox   — in the Northern Hemisphere, depending on the year, this corresponds to the period between 20, 21 or 22 December and 19, 20 or 21 March.
In the UK, meteorologists consider winter to be the three coldest months of December, January and February. In Celtic nations such as Ireland using the Irish calendar and in Scandinavia, the winter solstice is traditionally considered as midwinter, with the winter season beginning 1 November, on All Hallows , or Samhain. Winter ends and spring begins on Imbolc , or Candlemas , which is 1 or 2 February. This system of seasons is based on the length of days exclusively.
The three-month period of the shortest days and weakest solar radiation occurs during November, December and January in the Northern Hemisphere and May, June and July in the Southern Hemisphere.
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Also, many mainland European countries tended to recognize Martinmas or St. Martin's Day 11 November , as the first calendar day of winter. Also, Valentine's Day 14 February is recognized by some countries as heralding the first rites of spring, such as flowers blooming. The three-month period associated with the coldest average temperatures typically begins somewhere in late November or early December in the Northern Hemisphere and lasts through late February or early March.
This "thermological winter" is earlier than the solstice delimited definition, but later than the daylight Celtic definition. Depending on seasonal lag , this period will vary between climatic regions. Cultural influences such as Christmas creep may have led to the winter season being perceived as beginning earlier in recent years, although high latitude countries like Canada are usually well into their real winters before the December solstice. Since by almost all definitions valid for the Northern Hemisphere, winter spans 31 December and 1 January, the season is split across years, just like summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
Each calendar year includes parts of two winters.
This causes ambiguity in associating a winter with a particular year, e. Solutions for this problem include naming both years, e. Ecological reckoning of winter differs from calendar-based by avoiding the use of fixed dates. It is one of six seasons recognized by most ecologists who customarily use the term hibernal for this period of the year the other ecological seasons being prevernal, vernal, estival, serotinal, and autumnal.
The appearance of flowering plants like the crocus can mark the change from ecological winter to the prevernal season as early as late January in mild temperate climates. To survive the harshness of winter, many animals have developed different behavioral and morphological adaptations for overwintering :. Some annual plants never survive the winter. Other annual plants require winter cold to complete their life cycle; this is known as vernalization.
As for perennials , many small ones profit from the insulating effects of snow by being buried in it. Larger plants, particularly deciduous trees , usually let their upper part go dormant, but their roots are still protected by the snow layer. Few plants bloom in the winter, one exception being the flowering plum , which flowers in time for Chinese New Year.
The process by which plants become acclimated to cold weather is called hardening. Humans are sensitive to cold, see hypothermia. Snowblindness , norovirus , seasonal depression. Slipping on black ice and falling icicles are other health concerns associated with cold and snowy weather. In the Northern Hemisphere, it is not unusual for homeless people to die from hypothermia in the winter. One of the most common diseases associated with winter is influenza.
It is referred to as the eve of the birth of Mithra , who symbolised light, goodness and strength on earth. In Greek mythology , Hades kidnapped Persephone to be his wife.
Zeus ordered Hades to return her to Demeter , the goddess of the Earth and her mother. However, Hades tricked Persephone into eating the food of the dead, so Zeus decreed that Persephone would spend six months with Demeter and six months with Hades.
Stay healthy in winter
During the time her daughter is with Hades, Demeter became depressed and caused winter. In Welsh mythology , Gwyn ap Nudd abducted a maiden named Creiddylad. The battle between them represented the contest between summer and winter. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Winter disambiguation. For the practice of turning clocks backward from standard time during the winter, see Winter time clock lag. Calendar seasons.
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Winter Spring Summer Autumn. Tropical seasons. Dry season Harmattan Wet season. Meteorology Climate change Tornado terms Tropical cyclone terms. See also: Effect of Sun angle on climate. Archived from the original on 2 February Retrieved 2 February Environment Canada. Archived from the original on 5 September Retrieved 8 August Archived from the original on 18 May Met Office.
Minnesota Public Radio. Archived from the original on 8 June Retrieved 22 December NOAA Magazine. Archived from the original on 16 July American Meteorological Society. Archived from the original on 3 April Retrieved 21 January Libbrecht Not so much larger than a bedroom, is it?
There are three stones of slate and one of marble, Broad-shouldered little slabs there in the sunlight On the sidehill. We haven't to mind those. But I understand: it is not the stones, But the child's mound--' 'Don't, don't, don't, don't,' she cried. She withdrew shrinking from beneath his arm That rested on the bannister, and slid downstairs; And turned on him with such a daunting look, He said twice over before he knew himself: 'Can't a man speak of his own child he's lost?
Oh, where's my hat? Oh, I don't need it! I must get out of here. I must get air. I don't know rightly whether any man can. Don't go to someone else this time. Listen to me.
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I won't come down the stairs. I don't know how to speak of anything So as to please you. But I might be taught I should suppose. I can't say I see how. A man must partly give up being a man With women-folk. We could have some arrangement By which I'd bind myself to keep hands off Anything special you're a-mind to name.
Though I don't like such things 'twixt those that love. Two that don't love can't live together without them. But two that do can't live together with them. Don't carry it to someone else this time. Tell me about it if it's something human. Let me into your grief. I'm not so much Unlike other folks as your standing there Apart would make me out. Give me my chance. I do think, though, you overdo it a little.
What was it brought you up to think it the thing To take your mother--loss of a first child So inconsolably--in the face of love. You'd think his memory might be satisfied--' 'There you go sneering now! You make me angry. I'll come down to you. God, what a woman!
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And it's come to this, A man can't speak of his own child that's dead. If you had any feelings, you that dug With your own hand--how could you? I thought, Who is that man? I didn't know you. And I crept down the stairs and up the stairs To look again, and still your spade kept lifting.
Then you came in. I heard your rumbling voice Out in the kitchen, and I don't know why, But I went near to see with my own eyes. You could sit there with the stains on your shoes Of the fresh earth from your own baby's grave And talk about your everyday concerns. You had stood the spade up against the wall Outside there in the entry, for I saw it. I'm cursed. God, if I don't believe I'm cursed. What had how long it takes a birch to rot To do with what was in the darkened parlor.
You couldn't care! The nearest friends can go With anyone to death, comes so far short They might as well not try to go at all. No, from the time when one is sick to death, One is alone, and he dies more alone. Friends make pretense of following to the grave, But before one is in it, their minds are turned And making the best of their way back to life And living people, and things they understand.
But the world's evil. I won't have grief so If I can change it. Oh, I won't, I won't! You won't go now. You're crying. Close the door. The heart's gone out of it: why keep it up. There's someone coming down the road! I must go-- Somewhere out of this house. How can I make you--' 'If--you--do! First tell me that. I'll follow and bring you back by force.
I will! Robert Frost To Earthward Love at the lips was touch As sweet as I could bear; And once that seemed too much; I lived on air That crossed me from sweet things, The flow of—was it musk From hidden grapevine springs Downhill at dusk? I had the swirl and ache From sprays of honeysuckle That when they're gathered shake Dew on the knuckle. I craved strong sweets, but those Seemed strong when I was young; The petal of the rose It was that stung. Now no joy but lacks salt, That is not dashed with pain And weariness and fault; I crave the stain Of tears, the aftermark Of almost too much love, The sweet of bitter bark And burning clove.