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What it tattoo Tuesday about?

February 4, 2014

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Today is King Frost Day – which harkens back to the Little Ice Age when temperatures in northern hemisphere, at least, were below normal.  This led to freezing in areas such as London, which were not normally so affected by the deep cold of winter.  Frost fairs were held that are reminiscent of other modern and ancient festivals held in the depth of winter.  These gatherings provided activity and entertainment, yet were probably rooted in other ancient festivals that marked not so much the long nights of winter as at the Solstice, but the hope that the warmth of the sun would not be too long in returning.

Today (February 4th) is King Frost Day, when the people of London used to celebrate the harbinger of the winter freeze by holding frost fairs on the frozen River Thames. Before embankment, when the river was wider and therefore flowed much slower, it would freeze in winter. Between the 15th century and early 19th century – a period known as the Little Ice Age – temperatures were much lower than they are now, and, during the Great Frost of 1683–84 (the worst recorded in England), the Thames was completely frozen for two months, with the ice reaching a thickness of 11 inches. People could easily walk from one side of the river to the other.

From the blog Prehistoric Shamanism

These are my frost photos from this morning:

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Here are some frosty tattoos:

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2 comments

  1. I learn something every day. I’d never heard of “King Frost Day” before… and this coming from a guy who lived in Ol’ Blighty for over three years.

    Thanks, Anne. Stay warm.


    • I, too, love finding out about those old holidays.
      Thanks for the warm wishes!



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