Great things about winter weather in cold places:
1. No mosquitoes.
2. The quiet that accompanies just-fallen snow, since a thick, fluffy layer of snow absorbs sound waves (technically, damping their oscillation).
3. The all-new look ice and snow bring to familiar surroundings.
Plus, if you turn artists loose in the cold you get amazing results. To wit:
An illuminated tower of ice at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in China. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Ice sculpture at a past St. Paul (Minn.) Winter Carnival. (Photo: Christine Wisch)
The 2013 version of the carnival is scheduled for Jan. 24-Feb. 3. Neat stuff. Worth a little shivering.