Nature, Weather

In The Bleak Midwinter

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When we look back on our first years living in Bulgaria one difference to get used to was the winter season. The famous opening line “In the bleak midwinter” of the poem by English poet Christina Rosetti summarizes our early winter experiences.

It was cold ! A lot colder than we were used after moving from sunny England !

The pictures below show a deep hoar frost in late Autumn just before the first snows arrived. A hoar frost is an old English term meaning a frost resembling an old man’s beard. A hoar frost only forms when the air is moist and the air and objects are below freezing. The below freezing objects suck the moisture from the air which forms as long ice crystals on the object creating a hoar frost.

The poem “In the Bleak Midwinter” by English poet Christina Rossetti is commonly performed as A Christmas carol. The poem was first published, using the title “A Christmas Carol” in January 1872.

In 1906, the composer Gustav Holst composed a setting of Rossetti’s words in The English Hymnal which is now sung throughout the world. An anthem setting by Harold Darke composed in 1909 is also widely performed by choirs, and was named the best Christmas carol in a poll of some of the world’s leading choirmasters and choral experts in 2008.