Winter is officially here on Wednesday, December 21!
You’ve already felt the cold coming on, and you might already be considering it winter already. However, officially, the first day of winter is the winter solstice, which falls on Wednesday, December 21 this year.
The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, with the sun setting at 4:47 PM Eastern Standard Time in the Northern Hemisphere. From this day forward, until the summer solstice on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, the days will steadily get longer and longer. The solstices are caused by the tilt of the Northern Hemisphere towards the sun: the winter solstice is the day that Earth is tilted farthest away from the sun (conversely, nearest on the summer solstice), resulting in the least daylight of the year.
Don’t get the winter and summer solstices confused with the equinoxes: the spring and autumn equinoxes are the two days in the year that have equal amounts of daylight and nighttime.
People all over the world have been recognizing the winter solstice for millennia as marking either the change in seasons or a midpoint in the season. For instance, several civilizations’ most famous stone structures are theorized to have been built for this purpose, and there are many ancient festivals meant to bring joy and celebration to the darkest time of year.
The winter solstice is not strictly a holiday, more of an astrological event, so you can expect businesses, transportation, and government buildings to be operating on normal business hours.
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe and healthy!