Winter officially begins today, Saturday, Dec. 21. It’s also the shortest day of the year – and the longest night, when the sun reaches its southernmost point in the sky.
We can start looking forward to more daylight hours ahead.
Five things to know about Winter Solstice:
- The Winter Solstice officially begins 12:11 p.m. Eastern time. The United States will receive nine hours and 32 minutes of daylight.
- The solstice occurs due to the Earth’s axis of rotation, which for the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, is faced the furthest away from the sun.
- The word “solstice” comes from the Latin words “sol” for sun and “sisto” for “stop.” On Dec. 21, the sun will stop moving southward, pause and begin moving northward. The date has held special meaning throughout history.
- believing that each spark from the fire would represent a new pig or calf in the new year. In Rome, early Romans observed Saturnalia, a holiday in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture, and Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome.
- While the it may be the day where the Northern Hemisphere is furthest away from the sun, that doesn’t necessarily make it the coldest day of the year. There’s a “lag” between the shortest day and the coldest temperature, according to the National Weather Service.
Source: International Business Times