Winter (/ˈwɪntər/WIN-tər) is the coldest season of the year in temperate climates, between autumn and spring. It is caused by the axis of the Earth in the respective hemisphere being oriented away from the Sun. Different cultures define different dates as the start of winter, and some use a definition based on weather, but when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and vice versa. In many regions, winter is associated with snow and freezing temperatures. At the winter solstice, the days are shortest and the nights are longest, with days lengthening as the season progresses after the solstice.
Holland is a region and former province in the western part of the Netherlands. The term Holland is also frequently used as a pars pro toto to refer to the whole of the Netherlands. This usage is generally accepted, but disliked by part of the Dutch population, especially in the other parts of the Netherlands.
From the 10th to the 16th century, Holland proper was a unified political region within the Holy Roman Empire, a county ruled by the Counts of Holland. By the 17th century, Holland had risen to become a maritime and economic power, dominating the other provinces of the newly independent Dutch Republic.