Winter is the coldest and snowiest time of the year. At least every inhabitant of our country will agree with this statement. And, meanwhile, half of the people who do not live on planet Earth have never seen snow.
There are several definitions for winter - calendar, astronomical and climatic. With the calendar, everything is clear - here it is December, January and February, and in the southern hemisphere - June, July and August. Astronomical winter lasts from December 21 to March 21. Well, climatic winter comes when the average daily temperature drops below zero degrees.
However, sometimes winter can come at the behest of one of the rulers. For example, once Madame Maintenon, the favorite of King Louis XIV of France, wanted to go sledding in the summer. There were no problems - a snow track made of salt and sugar was immediately erected around Versailles.
It is interesting that the largest snowflakes in Moscow fell not in winter, but in spring, and far from early. It happened on April 30, 1944, when a heavy snowfall suddenly fell on the capital. The snowflakes were shaped like ostrich feathers and were as large as the palm of an adult.
In Russia, winter is not only a season. There is a city with this name in the Irkutsk region. It is curious that the name of the city, according to local historians, has nothing to do with the season. In Buryat “zeme” means “offense”. Some kind, living in these places, was guilty before their relatives. The river with the same name flows through the city.
European sociologists, in the course of surveys of the population, made curious conclusions - children born in winter have 16 percent higher chances of living up to their 100th anniversary than everyone else. In addition, such children are more resilient and more often achieve high results in sports.
In 2012, Venice had such a cold winter that the gondolas were trapped in ice and could not move on the water. Before that, a similar case was observed in 1985. And in 1468 wine froze in the cellars of Burgundy.
For the arrival of winter in Russia, preparations were made in advance. For example, even on Midsummer Day (November 1), our ancestors arranged farewell to autumn and welcome to winter. It was believed that it was from this date that frosts began. It was believed that if it is cold on Midsummer's day, then the whole winter will be long and severe.
If we have winter - December, January and February, then in Australia the opposite is true. There, the calendar winter comes when we have a hot summer. True, we can say that "it is winter for an Australian, but for a Russian it is hot." Even at this time of the year on the Green Continent the temperature rarely drops below 10 degrees Celsius, although night frosts also occur in some places.
Contrary to popular belief, in Russia in winter they were warmed not with vodka, but with sbitn. This ancient Slavic drink was made from water, honey and spices. It had anti-inflammatory and warming effects. Before the mass distribution of tea in Russia, it was the most popular "winter" drink.