Sunday, December 21, 2008
Happy First Day of Winter, also known as Winter Solstice
Winter Solstice marks the beginning of winter and is the shortest day of the year. On this day, it seems as if the nighttime darkness lasts all day and all night. At the North Pole, the sun never rises on this day. It is not the coldest day of winter, as the northern hemisphere continues to lose more heat than it gains. This will continue until late in winter as the longer daylight hours at that point begin to have a net warming trend. But for now, heat up a cup of hot chocolate and put another log on the fire! Winter will be here for a while.
By the way, while the northern hemisphere is experiencing it's shortest day, the southern hemisphere is basking in sunshine and enjoying the first day of summer.
For thousands of years, Winter Solstice has celebrated the new solar year. It celebrates the return of the sun as every day now will see more sun. The sun is at it's northernmost part and now begins it's long, six month journey north.