Winter is the season between Autumn and Spring. In the northern hemisphere, including the UK, December, January, and February are seen as the winter months. It is the coldest and darkest season, the days are shorter, and the shortest day of the year is in winter. It's called the winter solstice and it's often seen as the first day of winter, it's on December 21st or 22nd
When it's very cold, and the temperature drops below 0 degrees centigrade, water freezes which forms ice, and frosts on the ground in the morning. Sometimes we get snow too if it's cold enough. Then you can go out and make snowmen, and go sledging.
In the Winter we need to wear warmer clothes like coats, boots, hats, and gloves. We also have to keep warmer inside by using heating, fires and extra blankets on beds. We tend to eat more hot food, like soups and stews, porridge for breakfast and hot drinks, like hot chocolate and warm blackcurrant.
Most plants slow down their growth in the winter, and may look like they have died away but their roots are still alive underground. Deciduous trees have now lost all their leaves and their branches are bare, until spring, but some trees still look green, they are the evergreens and they keep their green needles all year round, like pine trees.
Also there are very few flowers, but you might see snowdrops towards the end of winter. Some plants like holly will have berries on during the winter, the birds like to eat them in the winter when other food is in short supply.
Some animals hibernate through the winter, like hedgehogs, as there is not as much food around for them. Other animals grow thicker coats to keep them warm, like sheep. Birds fluff up their feathers to keep warm, and frogs sleep in the mud at the bottom of ponds. Squirrels eat the food, like nuts and acorns, that they hid for when food was more scarce during the winter.
13th December - In Sweden the feast of Santa Lucia is celebrated
25th December - Christmas, when Christians remember the birth of Jesus Christ
December - Hannukah is a Jewish holiday held for 8 days in December
December or January - Id-ul-fitr or Eid is a Muslim festival at the end of Ramadan
New Years Eve on 31st December, in Scotland the celebrations are called Hogmanay
New Years Day - 1st January, the start of a new year
5th January - Sikhs celebrate a festival called Gurpurb
25th January - Scottish people celebrate Burn's night
January or February - Chinese New Year is celebrated and lasts for 15 days
14th February – St. Valentine's Day
February or March – Hindu festival of Mahashivratri
February or March – Shrove Tuesday