The Fifth of the Nine-Nines—nine periods of nine days each, each period marked by some description of winter weather—began on January 27. This is Tavisan Budaa Khöldökhgui, the time when “Cooked Rice Cannot Be Frozen.” I must admit I really don’t understand the definition of this period. It seems to me that cooked rice would be frozen at any temperature below freezing, and we can certainly expect colder temperatures than that during the last week of January and beginning of February. Anyhow, the Fourth of the Nine-Nines was supposed to be coldest of the Nine-Nines, but this year the Fifth might well turn out to be colder. I have blogged in the past about the Magical Moment when 40 below zero are the same on the Fahreinheit and Celsius scales. The last few days we have been having a Magic Moment every morning.
This morning it dropped down to a frosty 45 below 0º F.
Some old Gray Beards I spoke with at the Bogd Khaan Winter Palace Museum yesterday assured me that this would be the coldest week of the year and that we might expect it to warm up just a bit before Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian New Year, on February 22. In any case, it is good weather for people who are freezing their Buuz on the balcony in preparation for the Festive Day.