You wouldn’t have guessed it based on the previous month’s temperatures, but today is the first day of winter. According to Weather Underground, the month’s mean temperature is a balmy -25 degrees C (-13 F).
But numbers mean little when you can’t see them through your frozen eyelashes.
In honor of the Winter Solstice and the reality that is finally sinking in, I’d like to share a Mongolian saying I just heard last night. It’s called “The Nines of Winter” and divides the upcoming chilly 81 days into nine sets of nine days.The First Nine: Milk vodka congeals and freezes The Second Nine: Vodka congeals and freezes The Third Nine: Tail of a three-year-old ox freezes The Fourth Nine: Horns of a four-year-old ox freezes The Fifth Nine: Boiled rice no longer congeals and freezes The Sixth Nine: Roads become visible from under the snow and ice The Seventh Nine: Hilltops appear The Eighth Nine: Ground becomes damp The Ninth Nine: Warmer days set in
So, there you have it. Maybe it’s time to get that extra pair of long johns I’ve had my eye on.