Here comes the week when the winter really starts! Beginning Saturday, the days will get longer and nights will get shorter.
Real winter this year starts on December 21, Friday with the Winter Solstice. The time for the solstice is 5.22 PM. It will be the shortest day of the year with nine hours, twelve minutes and forty nine seconds.
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For those who do not know what the Winter Solstice is, here are some interesting facts:
- The date of the Winter Solstice varies from December 20 to December 23, with the most common dates being December 21 and December 22.
- Besides occurring on a particular day, the solstice takes place at a specific time as well as at that time the North Pole is furthest away from the sun on the Earth’s axis.
- At this time, the sun also shines right above the Tropic of Capricorn.
- The Winter Solstice marks the longest night and the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
- According to some ancient cultures, the Winter Solstice was viewed as a time of death and rebirth as well.
- On this day, several strange and new discoveries took place in the world such as Pierre and Marie Curie’s radium discovery on December 21, 1898.
- The term Solstice means ‘Sun Stands Still’.
- Based on some ancient traditions, dark spirits wander on the earth on the Winter Solstice and people are encouraged to stay up through the night talking, eating, and sharing poetry and pleasant stories in each other’s company.
- Some people even thought that the world would come to an end in the year 2012 on Winter Solstice.