Some unusually tough winter conditions are already affecting Mongolia as The UB Post reports. Herders have started counting the days until spring approaches in their own traditional way.
The coldest time of the year has breezed into Mongolia along with the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of sunlight annually, which [was] marked on December 22 this year. [That] is the second day of the Nine Nines of Winter, a traditional method used by Mongolian herders to determine the date during winter.
Based on the lunar calendar, herders believed that winter lasted for 81 days, and which is counted in nine sets of nine days, also known as the “Nine Nines of Winter”.
Each of the Nines is associated with very practical forms of measurement of how cold it supposedly will be to allow herders to keep track of the days when they didn’t have modern methods of telling dates.
The Nine Nines are as follows:
First Nine: Mongolian vodka (which is made through a condensation process using milk) freezes
Second Nine: Regular vodka freezes
Third Nine: The horns of 3-year-old cattle freeze and fall off
Fourth Nine: The horns of 4-year-old cattle freeze
Fifth Nine: Cooked rice no longer congeals
Sixth Nine: Roads become visible through snow
Seventh Nine: Snow on hill tops begins to melt
Eighth Nine: The ground becomes damp
Ninth Nine: Warmer days set in
The Nine Nines will end on March 12, 2017. However, the weather will become warmer by Tsagaan Sar, one of the biggest holidays in Mongolia, which will start on February 27 next year.
Full report: ‘Nine Nines of Winter’ begins | The UB Post