Rugby union known in most of the world as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end. Rugby union is a popular sport around the world, played by male and female players of all ages. In 2014, there were more than 6 million people playing worldwide, of whom 2.36 million were registered players. World Rugby called the International Rugby Football Board and the International Rugby Board, has been the governing body for rugby union since 1886, has 101 countries as full members and 18 associate members. In 1845, the first football laws were written by Rugby School pupils. An amateur sport, in 1995 restrictions on payments to players were removed, making the game professional at the highest level for the first time.
Rugby union spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland and was absorbed by many of the countries associated with the British Empire. Early exponents of the sport included New Zealand, South Africa and France. Countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Madagascar, New Zealand and Tonga. International matches have taken place since 1871 when the first game took place between Scotland and England at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh; the Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, takes place every four years. The Six Nations Championship in Europe and The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere are other major international competitions, held annually. National club or provincial competitions include the Premiership in England, the Top 14 in France, the Mitre 10 Cup in New Zealand, the National Rugby Championship in Australia, the Currie Cup in South Africa. Other transnational club competitions include the Pro14 in Europe and South Africa, the European Rugby Champions Cup in Europe, Super Rugby, in the Southern Hemisphere and Japan.
The origin of rugby football is reputed to be an incident during a game of English school football at Rugby School in 1823, when William Webb Ellis is said to have picked up the ball and run with it. Although the evidence for the story is doubtful, it was immortalised at the school with a plaque unveiled in 1895. Despite the doubtful evidence, the Rugby World Cup trophy is named after Webb Ellis. Rugby football stems from the form of game played at Rugby School, which former pupils introduced to their university. Old Rugbeian Albert Pell, a student at Cambridge, is credited with having formed the first "football" team. During this early period different schools used different rules, with former pupils from Rugby and Eton attempting to carry their preferred rules through to their universities. A significant event in the early development of rugby football was the production of the first written laws of the game at Rugby School in 1845, followed by the Cambridge Rules drawn up in 1848. Other important events include the Blackheath Club's decision to leave the Football Association in 1863 and the formation of the Rugby Football Union in 1871.
The code was known as "rugby football". Despite the sport's full name of rugby union, it is known as rugby throughout most of the world; the first rugby football international was played on 27 March 1871 between Scotland and England in Edinburgh. Scotland won the game 1-0. By 1881 both Ireland and Wales had representative teams, in 1883 the first international competition, the Home Nations Championship had begun. 1883 is the year of the first rugby sevens tournament, the Melrose Sevens, still held annually. Two important overseas tours took place in 1888: a British Isles team visited Australia and New Zealand—although a private venture, it laid the foundations for future British and Irish Lions tours. During the early history of rugby union, a time before commercial air travel, teams from different continents met; the first two notable tours both took place in 1888—the British Isles team touring New Zealand and Australia, followed by the New Zealand team touring Europe. Traditionally the most prestigious tours were the Southern Hemisphere countries of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa making a tour of a Northern Hemisphere, the return tours made by a joint British and Irish team.
Tours would last for months, due to the number of games undertaken. Touring international sides would play Test matches against international opponents, including national and county sides in the case of Northern Hemisphere rugby, or provincial/state sides in the case of Southern Hemisphere rugby. Between 1905 and 1908, all three major Southern Hemisphere rugby countries sent their first touring teams to the Northern Hemisphere: New Zealand in 1905, followed by South Africa in 1906 and Australia in 1908. All three teams brought new styles of play, fitness levels and tactics, were far more successful than critics had expected; the New Zealand 1905 touri
Edinburgh Academical Football Club
The Edinburgh Academical Football Club known as Edinburgh Accies or Edinburgh Acads, is a rugby union club in Edinburgh, Scotland. At present it plays in Scottish National League Division One league, the second tier of Scottish club rugby; the club's home ground is Edinburgh. They are coached by Iain Berthinussen; the club fields three teams and is involved, with Broughton RFC and Trinity Accies RFC, in the BATs initiative, a community amateur sports club providing youth rugby across north Edinburgh. The club was formed in 1857 and is the oldest surviving football club of any code in Scotland, the second oldest rugby union club in continuous existence in the world, behind Dublin University Football Club, they were one of the founding members of the Scottish Rugby Union. In the 1873–74 season, they played ten matches, won all of them; the Accies' home ground, Raeburn Place, is the location of the first rugby international. Seven players of the original Scotland side were Academicals, including the captain, FJ Moncrieff, an Academical played for England that day.
In season 2007–08, the club's 1st XV finished second in Premiership Division 2, thereby securing promotion to the Premiership Division 1. That same season they experienced a successful Scottish Cup run, reaching the final with victories over Premiership 1 teams Currie and Boroughmuir; the team lost the final 24–13 to the Glasgow Hawks. The club played a match against the Barbarians in April 2008 to mark the club's 150th anniversary. A book was published, commissioned to celebrate the club's 150th anniversary,The Accies: The Cradle of Scottish Rugby. In season 2009–10 the club's 1st XV was relegated to Scottish Premier Division 2 after they lost to Heriot's FP in the last game of the season and on the same day Watsonian's beat Melrose. In season 2010–11 the club were Premier 2 League champions and returned to the top level of Scottish club rugby, the Premier 1 League, for the 2011–12 season, they remained in the Scottish Premiership after the restructure of the Scottish league system. Scottish League Championship, second tier Champions: 1996-97, 2010-11, 2017-18 Runners-Up: 2007-08, 2016-17 Scottish League Championship, third tier Champions: 1999-00, 2003-04 Scottish Cup Runners-Up: 2006-07 The following former Edinburgh Academical players have represented the British and Irish Lions.
The following former Edinburgh Academical players have represented Scotland at full international level in rugby union. The following former Edinburgh Academical players have represented their nations at full international level; the following former Edinburgh Academical players have represented both the Scotland rugby union team and the Scotland cricket team. The following have represented Scotland at full international level. Bath, Richard The Complete Book of Rugby Massie, Allan A Portrait of Scottish Rugby Official website'The Accies - The Cradle of Scottish Rugby' - Club history written by David Barnes
Scotland national rugby union team
The Scotland national rugby union team is administered by the Scottish Rugby Union. The team takes part in the annual Six Nations Championship and participates in the Rugby World Cup, which takes place every four years; as of 18 March 2019, Scotland are 7th in the World Rugby Rankings. The Scottish rugby team dates back to 1871, where they beat England in the first international rugby union match at Raeburn Place. Scotland competed in the Five Nations from the inaugural tournament in 1883, winning it 14 times outright—including the last Five Nations in 1999—and sharing it another 8. In 2000 the competition accepted a sixth competitor, thus forming the Six Nations. Since this change, Scotland have yet to win the competition; the Rugby World Cup was introduced in 1987 and Scotland have competed in all eight competitions, the most recent being in 2015 where they were knocked out by Australia at the quarter-final stage in controversial circumstances. Their best finish came in 1991. Scotland have a strong rivalry with the English national team.
They both annually compete for the Calcutta Cup. Each year, this fixture is played out as part of the Six Nations, with Scotland having last won in 2018. In December 1870 a group of Scots players issued a letter of challenge in The Scotsman and in Bell's Life in London, to play an England XX at rugby rules; the English could hardly ignore such a challenge and this led to the first-ever rugby international match being played at Academical Cricket Club's ground at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, on Monday 27 March 1871. In front of around 4000 spectators, the Scots won the encounter by a try and a goal to a solitary try scored by England. England got revenge by winning the return match at the Kennington Oval, London in the following year; the Calcutta Cup was donated to the Rugby Football Union in 1878 by the members of the short-lived Calcutta Rugby Club. The members had decided to disband: the cup was crafted from melted-down silver rupees which became available when the Club's funds were withdrawn from the bank.
The Cup is unique in that it is competed for annually only by Scotland. The first Calcutta Cup match was played in 1879 and, since that time, over 100 matches have taken place. In 1882 the Home Nations Championship, the fore-runner of the modern Six Nations Championship was founded with Scotland, England and Ireland taking part; the Scots enjoyed occasional success in the early years, winning their first Triple Crown in 1891 and repeating the feat again in 1895, vying with Wales for dominance in the first decade of the 20th century. Further Triple Crowns wins for Scotland followed in 1901, 1903 and 1907. However, Scotland's triumph in 1907 would be the last for eighteen years as the First World War and England's dominance afterwards would deny them glory. In 1897 land was purchased, at Inverleith, Edinburgh, thus the SFU became the first of the Home Unions to own its own ground. The first visitors were Ireland, on 18 February 1899. International rugby was played at Inverleith until 1925; the SFU bought some land and built the first Murrayfield Stadium, opened on 21 March 1925.
In 1925 Scotland had victories over France at Inverleith, Wales in Swansea and Ireland in Dublin. England, the Grand Slam champions of the two previous seasons were the first visitors to Murrayfield. 70,000 spectators saw the lead change hands three times before Scotland secured a 14–11 victory which gave them their first-ever Five Nations Grand Slam. In 1926, Scotland became the first Home nation side to defeat England at Twickenham after England had won the Grand Slam five times in eight seasons; the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 brought rugby union in Scotland to a halt. The SRU cancelled all arranged trial and international matches and encouraged the member clubs to carry on as best they could; some clubs closed down, others amalgamated and carried on playing other local clubs and, teams from the armed forces stationed in their various areas. Internationals resumed in the 1946–47 season, although these were not formally recognised and no caps were awarded to participating players.
In January 1946, Scotland played and defeated a strong New Zealand Armed Forces team by 11–6. Scotland resumed full international matches in February 1947; the period after World War Two was not a successful one for Scotland. In 1951, the touring Springboks massacred Scotland 44–0 scoring nine tries, a record defeat. Scotland suffered 17 successive defeats between February 1951 and February 1955, scored only 54 points in these 17 games: 11 tries, six conversions, four penalties; the teams from 1955–63 were an improvement. There were no wins over England. Occasional wins were recorded against Wales and France. 1964 was a good year for Scotland. New Zealand were held to a 0 -- the last international match in which no points were scored; the Calcutta Cup was won 15–6, the first time since 1950 and they shared the Five Nations title in 1964 with Wales. In 1971 the SRU appointed Bill Dickinson as their head coach, after years of avoidance, as it was their belief that rugby should remain an amateur sport.
He was designated as an "adviser to the captain". Scotland were the first of the Home Unions to run a nationwide club league; this was introduced in 1973 and still flourishes today with several of the country's original clubs still much in evidence, such as Heriots, West of Scotland and the famous'border' clubs su
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
William Berridge Welsh was a Scottish international rugby union player, rugby league footballer, who played for Scotland and the Lions. Welsh scored his début try in his first international against the 1927-8 Waratahs from New South Wales, was capped 21 times for Scotland, he played for Hawick. He toured with the 1930 British Lions, including a match against the All Blacks, was the only Scot on the squad; the Welsh player Ivor Jones, who played alongside him in the tour, described Willie Welsh as "one of the great forwards". Bill McLaren, who would play for Hawick RFC himself, remembers the game of Willie Welsh. "I was brought up on stories of the great Scottish players of the twenties, many of whom I never saw play but knew all about… I used to go with my father to see matches at a early age, the great Hawick heroes including Willie Welsh, Jock Beattie and Jerry Foster, so I had an all-consuming desire to wear the green jersey of Hawick." Welsh was a fine rugby sevens player: "My father's generation regarded Willie as one of the finest all-round footballers to play for Hawick.
He was best known as a loose-forward and he had speed and exceptionally safe hands. He was skilled enough to have played as a back, indeed he did so on one famous occasion, the Jed-Forest final of 1932, that I heard about as a boy, when a Hawick seven, containing five forwards were 0–15 down at the change-over to a powerful Dunfermline seven containing internationalists Harry Lind and Alf Wilson; some of the Hawick support were leaving the ground and they missed an incredible Hawick rally in which Willie Welsh played a major role, helping Hawick to an 18–15 victory." He was on the 1930 British Lions tour to New Zealand and Australia. Welsh went over to rugby league because of the unemployment crisis in the 1930s, he played for London Highfield in 1933–34. He attempted to return to Hawick RFC to coach their rugby sevens squad, but due to the strictness of the Scottish Rugby Union’s rules regarding contact with rugby league, he was forced to quit after a few minutes. Bath, Richard The Scotland Rugby Miscellany McLaren, Bill Talking of Rugby player profile on scrum.com
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
Winter is the coldest season of the year in polar and temperate zones. It occurs before spring in each year. Winter is caused by the axis of the Earth. Different cultures define different dates as the start of winter, some use a definition based on weather; when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere, vice versa. In many regions, winter is associated with freezing temperatures; the moment of winter solstice is when the Sun's elevation with respect to the North or South Pole is at its most negative value. The day on which this occurs has the shortest day and the longest night, with day length increasing and night length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice; the earliest sunset and latest sunrise dates outside the polar regions differ from the date of the winter solstice and these depend on latitude, due to the variation in the solar day throughout the year caused by the Earth's elliptical orbit. The English word "winter" comes from the Proto-Indo-European root "wend," relating to water.
The tilt of the Earth's axis relative to its orbital plane plays a large role in the formation of weather. The Earth is tilted at an angle of 23.44° to the plane of its orbit, causing different latitudes to directly face the Sun as the Earth moves through its orbit. This variation brings about seasons; when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere faces the Sun more directly and thus experiences warmer temperatures than the Northern Hemisphere. Conversely, winter in the Southern Hemisphere occurs when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted more toward the Sun. From the perspective of an observer on the Earth, the winter Sun has a lower maximum altitude in the sky than the summer Sun. During winter in either hemisphere, the lower altitude of the Sun causes the sunlight to hit the Earth at an oblique angle, thus a lower amount of solar radiation strikes the Earth per unit of surface area. Furthermore, the light must travel a longer distance through the atmosphere, allowing the atmosphere to dissipate more heat.
Compared with these effects, the effect of the changes in the distance of the Earth from the Sun is negligible. The manifestation of the meteorological winter in the northerly snow–prone latitudes is variable depending on elevation, position versus marine winds and the amount of precipitation. For instance, within Canada, Winnipeg on the Great Plains, a long way from the ocean, has a January high of −11.3 °C and a low of −21.4 °C. In comparison, Vancouver on the west coast with a marine influence from moderating Pacific winds has a January low of 1.4 °C with days well above freezing at 6.9 °C. Both places are at 49°N latitude, in the same western half of the continent. A similar but less extreme effect is found in Europe: in spite of their northerly latitude, the British Isles have not a single non-mountain weather station with a below-freezing mean January temperature. Meteorological reckoning is the method of measuring the winter season used by meteorologists based on "sensible weather patterns" for record keeping purposes, so the start of meteorological winter varies with latitude.
Winter is defined by meteorologists to be the three calendar months with the lowest average temperatures. This corresponds to the months of December and February in the Northern Hemisphere, June and August in the Southern Hemisphere; the coldest average temperatures of the season are experienced in January or February in the Northern Hemisphere and in June, July or August in the Southern Hemisphere. Nighttime predominates in the winter season, in some regions winter has the highest rate of precipitation as well as prolonged dampness because of permanent snow cover or high precipitation rates coupled with low temperatures, precluding evaporation. Blizzards develop and cause many transportation delays. Diamond dust known as ice needles or ice crystals, forms at temperatures approaching −40 °C due to air with higher moisture from above mixing with colder, surface-based air, they are made of simple hexagonal ice crystals. The Swedish meteorological institute defines winter as when the daily mean temperatures are below 0 °C for five consecutive days.
According to the SMHI, winter in Scandinavia is more pronounced when Atlantic low-pressure systems take more southerly and northerly routes, leaving the path open for high-pressure systems to come in and cold temperatures to occur. As a result, the coldest January on record in Stockholm, in 1987, was the sunniest. Accumulations of snow and ice are associated with winter in the Northern Hemisphere, due to the large land masses there. In the Southern Hemisphere, the more maritime climate and the relative lack of land south of 40°S makes the winters milder. In this region, snow occurs every year in elevated regions such as the Andes, the Great Dividing Range in Australia, the mountains of New Zealand, 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, regardless of weather conditions. In one version of this definition, winter begins at the winter solstice and ends at the ver