冬天来了 The beginning of winter
Winter landscape on Lushan
November 7 this year is the "Start of Winter" festival. The start of Winter is also the first solar term of winter in the lunar calendar. The start of Winter lasts from November 7th or 8th to the 22nd or 23rd, and like Spring Begins, Summer Begins, and Autumn Begins, it stands for the beginning of a new season.
We still keep this custom of eating delicious food at the Beginning of winter. In south China, chicken, duck, fish, and other meats are people's first choice; in north China, especially in Beijing and Tianjin, people would like to have Jiaozi (Dumpling), signifying the change of seasons.
Oymyakon, Russia, is one of a few places claiming to be the coldest spot in the Northern Hemisphere, a northern 'Pole of Cold.' Centuries of evolving meteorological technology means some historic cold temperatures are considered more accurate than others. The record for ultimate cold is a hot debate.
Oymyakon's claim may be strongest, though. The Siberian town has a verified low-temperature record of minus 89.9 degrees Fahrenheit in 1933—though if local lore and a Soviet-era monument are accurate, the true low was notched a decade earlier at minus 96.2.
By the way, the southern Pole of Cold blows all claimants to the northern record away like fresh-fallen snow: Russia's Vostok Station, in Antarctica, once recorded a low of minus 128.6! Think the Russians brought the cold with them?
Burghausen town and Salzach river, Bavaria, Germany
The town of Borghausen is located on the banks of the Salchach, a large river in the Alps, which at 225 km. The name "castle" is rarely as specific as it is in upper Bavarian town, cause Borghausen boasts the world's longest castle complex at 1,051 meters.
The impressive defensive structure sits on a ridge above the old town, with a total of six courtyards. The oldest part dates back to the Middle Ages, with the first documentary mentioning around 1025. The main castle represents the oldest part of it, which can be seen clearly on the left side in the picture.
Rydal Water in the Lake District, Cumbria, England
Reflecting winter skies and frozen fells in our homepage image is Rydal Water, one of the smallest but prettiest lakes in the Lake District. Rydal Water is one of the two lakes most associated with William Wordsworth, one of England’s greatest poets. (The other is neighbouring Grasmere, to which Rydal is connected by the River Rothay.) Wordsworth lived around these bodies of water, first at Dove Cottage and later Rydal Mount, between 1799 and 1850, writing some of his best-known works and hosting leading lights of the Romantic movement, including his friend, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. To the western edge of the lake is Wordsworth’s Seat, a rocky outcrop said to be the writer’s favourite spot.
Rydal Water is in a glacial valley, one of 13 valleys in the Lake District. Partly owned by the National Trust, it sits at the foot of Loughrigg Fell and has been known to freeze over on winter days like this one. You can walk around Rydal Water and take in Wordsworth’s former homes as well as passing by Rydal Cave in the hill above the lake. Surrounded by woodland, pasture and craggy fells, with several historic properties and beautifully designed landscapes, this is an inspiring place for aspiring poets, whatever the season.