December 21 or 22
When the sun rays reach the southernmost point of the Earth
Before humans existed
The December Solstice is an astronomical event that takes place twice a year, marking the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the December Solstice is the start of winter and a time to cozy up by the fire and avoid going outside at all costs.
In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the start of summer and a time to break out the sunscreen and hit the beach.
So, what exactly is a solstice?
Simply put, it’s the day when the Sun is at its furthest point from the equator. On the December solstice, the Sun reaches its southernmost point in the sky, leading to the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and vice versa in the Southern Hemisphere.
But why should we celebrate this astronomical event?
It’s a great excuse to embrace our inner hermit and avoid social obligations.
And who wouldn’t want to join in on the festivities of the ancient festival of Yule or Saturnalia? These pagan celebrations marked the return of the sun and were a time for feasting, gift giving, and generally having a good time.
Now, what sets the December solstice apart from the June solstice? Well, it’s all about the hemispheres. In the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice marks the start of winter, while the June solstice marks the start of summer. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s just the opposite – the December solstice marks the start of summer, while the June solstice marks the start of winter.
So, while all the Northern Hemisphere people are huddled up with hot cocoa and blankets, team Southern Hemisphere is enjoying the warm sun on their and soaking up all those Vitamin D rays.
But enough with the geography lesson, let’s talk about the cultural significance and mysterious mythology surrounding the December Solstice. In many cultures, solstice was seen as a time when the veil between the worlds was thin and the spirits of the dead could come back to visit. So, if you’re feeling lonely this time of year, just remember you’re never really alone!
In the Northern Hemisphere, many cultures celebrate the return of the sun with festivals such as Yule, Midwinter, Saturnalia, and Dongzhi.
In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s a time to celebrate the height of summer with festivals like Midsummer, Litha, and Inti Raymi. These celebrations often involve feasting, gift-giving, and rituals to welcome the return of the Sun.
So whether you’re a pagan, a Christian, or just someone who loves a good celebration, there’s something for everyone and everywhere during the December solstice.
And while the December Solstice is certainly a time to celebrate, it’s important to remember that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows but rather snowflakes and icicles.
The longest night of the year can be a bit of a downer for those of us who struggle with seasonal affective disorder.
Snack some extra vitamine D or bust out your trusty sun lamp and imagine you’re basking in the warm glow of the sun on a tropical island.
So, how can you celebrate the December Solstice? For those in the Northern Hemisphere, embrace the longest night of the year and take advantage of the extra time to cozy up with a good book and some hot cocoa. Light some candles or bonfires to symbolize the return of the sun and chase away the darkness.
For those in the Southern Hemisphere, gather with friends and family for a summer barbecue or beach day to soak up the sun’s rays.
And wherever you are, don’t forget to look up at the sky and appreciate the beauty of the Earth’s tilt.
Whether you’re celebrating the start of summer or winter, the December solstice is the perfect time to embrace the season and enjoy the festivities with loved ones.
So grab a mug of hot or cold cocoa, light a fire or put on swim wear, and let the celebrations begin!
The solstice and equinox are astronomical events that mark the changing of the seasons.
An Equinox is when the Earth looks like it’s standing straight up, so the “middle” of the Earth is closer to the rays of the sun than ever.
This is when the sun shines exactly perpendicular on the Equator.
Night and day are now exactly equally long.
The equator now has the warmest weather, while other parts of the Earth overall have “meh weather” also known as autumn and spring.
The tilt of the Earth’s axis is not inclined towards or away from the sun, resulting in equal amounts of daylight and darkness.
This happens twice a year, once in March and once in September, and marks the start of spring and fall, respectively.
A Solstice is when the Earth looks kinda tilted.
The moment when the Earth’s tilt toward or away from the sun is at its maximum, causing the longest or shortest day of the year.
Everything that is not Equator now has either the warmest or coldest season depending on which hemisphere is currently closest to the sun.
On the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun and experiences the longest day of the year, while on the winter solstice, it is tilted away from the sun and experiences the shortest day of the year.
Solstice: Summer or winter. Longest or shortest day of the year
Equinox: Spring or summer, Equally long day and night
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