Earlier people, however, were thinking about the sun's trajectory, how long it stayed in the sky and what sort of light it cast. Interesting Winter Solstice Facts: The word solstice is derived from Latin, meaning 'sun stands still' and was chosen because during a solstice the sun appears to remain still in its position in the sky. It usually happens on December 21 or 22, at the exact same second around the world. The winter solstice happens on Monday, December 21, 2020.This is the astronomical first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest day of the year. The Winter Solstice is traditionally a time for the family to get together, just like Westerners do on Christmas. On the Winter Solstice, there are 24 hours of sunlight in the Antarctic Circle, and 24 hours of darkness in the Arctic Circle. Thousands of marchers dress up and carry paper lanterns decorated with clocks to a … Zoroastrian lore holds that evil spirits wander the Earth and the forces of the destructive spirit Ahriman are strongest on this long night. [20] The word "solstice" means "sun stands still." The June (or summer) solstice happens when the sun shines directly on the Tropic of Cancer. Local times for June Solstice 2021 worldwide; Day and Night map for June Solstice 2021; Equinoxes and solstices from 2000–2049; First Day or Mid Winter? Enjoy solstice facts and folklore from The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Saturnalia was gradually replaced by Christmas throughout the Roman Empire, but many of its customs survive as Christmas traditions. The winter solstice in the northern hemisphere falls on December 22nd this year. The old Farmer's Almanac explains that on the day of the winter solstice, we are tilted as far away from the Sun as possible, which means that the Sun’s path across the sky is as low in the sky as it can be. We recommend our users to update the browser. Which is why Winter Solstice is regarded as an auspicious day to celebrate. 7. Below are 5 interesting facts about the Winter Solstice. The holiday, which began as a festival to honor the agricultural god Saturn, was held to commemorate the dedication of his temple in 497 BCE. The United States Forest Service reminds us of a few holiday favorites that stem from the winter solstice, starting with the holly tree. December 21, 2012, corresponds to the date 13.0.0.0.0 in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar used by the ancient Maya, marking the end of a 5126-year cycle. On the winter solstice, people can witness the Earth's longest night and shortest day of the year for their respective hemispheres. Helsinki, Finland, will get 5 hours and 49 minutes of light. This is when the Sun appears to be at the lowest point in the Northern Hemisphere sky, shining directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, marking the longest night and the shortest day of the year. ET Monday in the United States, marking the astronomical beginning of winter and the moment at which the sun’s rays are directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, USA Today reported. The Winter Solstice, aka the longest night and shortest day of the year, is one of the world’s most ancient holidays. Read more: Winter Solstice Date . What happens at the winter solstice? Solstices are opposite on either side of the equator, so the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. Many pagan rituals have revolved around the Winter Solstice. It happens at a specific time. The winter solstice is the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere but not the day with the latest sunrise and earliest sunset. The Sun 'Stands Still' The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning 'the Sun stands still'. 1. Charitable Pagan winter solstice traditions. The Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth on December 21, 1620, to found a society that would allow them to worship freely. For example, Yale University describes winter solstice celebrations among the Hopi people of Arizona, as well as the Hawaiian Makahiki festival. Some ancient winter solstice traditions are still common today, but their roots are long forgotten. Here are a few facts you may have not have known about the winter solstice. Beliefs about the presence of evil on the longest night are also echoed in Celtic and Germanic folklore. ... June Solstice Facts 11 things you may not know about the June Solstice. Seven facts about the winter solstice . On the Winter Solstice, there are 24 hours of sunlight in the Antarctic Circle, and 24 hours of darkness in the Arctic Circle. The primary axis of the megalithic monument is oriented to the setting sun, while Newgrange, another structure built around the same time as Stonehenge, lines up with the winter solstice sunrise. Solstice derives from the Latin scientific term solstitium, containing sol, which means "sun," and the past participle stem of sistere, meaning "to make stand." Winter solstice celebrations happen across various cultures. These events occur in March and September. This is also the time when the sun shines directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. The Winter Solstice falls on December 21st this year. The winter solstice is the day with the least amount of sun, while the summer solstice is the day with the most. This is why the Northern and Southern Hemispheres have opposite seasons. The winter solstice marks the exact moment when half of Earth is tilted the farthest away from the sun. By Vigdis Hocken. While many focus on the winter solstice as a day in the calendar, what we are actually talking about is a very specific moment which is over almost as soon as it has begun. Chinese people found Winter Solstice 2,500 years ago. A version of this story originally ran in 2015. Beginning of Winter (Winter Solstice) Facts. After the Winter Solstice, days will be longer. The winter solstice officially occurs at 5:02 a.m. As the winter solstice is a natural turning point, it has been used to mark the end of the year for many societies. People believed that the fading light would not reappear unless humans kept a watch on it and kept celebrating. When winter solstice occurs in the southern hemisphere it experiences its longest night and shortest day of … Winter solstice is almost upon us! Scandinavian and Germanic pagans lit fires and may have burned Yule logs as a symbolic means of welcoming back the light. The National Weather Service says that the Earth’s tilt toward the sun is at a minimum “when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, which is located at 23.5 degrees south of the equator.” It marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. On the winter solstice, people can witness the Earth’s longest night and shortest day of the year for their respective hemispheres. In 2020, the winter solstice falls on December 21. The date of the winter solstice varies from year to year, and can fall anywhere between December 20 and December 23, with the 21st or 22nd being the … Iran’s Yalda festival, China’s Dōngzhì festival celebrate Winter Solstice. It has been celebrated in just about every culture around the globe for thousands of years. The Winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is in December, while in the Southern Hemisphere, it's in June. 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