Winter is the coolest season of the year in polar and temperate zones. It occurs between autumn and spring. Wintertide occurs when a hemisphere is oriented away from the Sun. Different cultures define different dates as the start of winter, and some use a definition based on weather.
Ecological reckoning of wintertime differs from calendar-based by avoiding fixed dates. It is one of six seasons most ecologists recognize who customarily use the term hibernal for this period.
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