Happy Winter Solstice! The Shortest Day Of Year

winter solstice

The shortest day of the year.

Winter solstice happens on December 21st throughout the northern hemisphere.  This shortest day of the year is celebrated throughout the world.

What do you actually know about the day in the northern hemisphere with the shortest amount of sunlight?  I didn’t know a lot about it, except for the fact that it is the shortest day of the year.  In light of my lack of knowledge I did some research on it and I want to share my findings here with you.  Maybe you can join the people throughout the world that celebrate this day?

What Is The Winter Solstice?

The Earth rotates around the sun not standing perfectly vertically, but slightly tilted.  The Earth is tilted at about 23 degrees.  This tilt of the Earth is what causes the seasons and makes for the longest and shortest days of the year.  For example, when the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun it is summer and when titled away it is winter.

The December solstice is the point at which the tilt of the earth is farthest away from the sun for the northern hemisphere.  This creates the shortest day of the year for those in the northern hemisphere.  After this day, the amount of daylight each day increases little by little.

Fun Fact – Check out your shadow at noon.  This is the longest your shadow will be all year long because this is the furthest south the sun will be in the sky.  After this, the sun will gradually move back north, making shadows shorter.

winter solstice

Stonehenge is a popular spot to celebrate the winter solstice.

Why Is It Celebrated?

There is a tradition of old cultures celebrating the winter solstice because the following day is the beginning of the days getting longer and marks a new sun.  Huge crowds show up to celebrate at Stonehenge in Britain.

What Does Winter Solstice Mean For Animals?

Plants and animals live their lives in a more natural harmony with the world.  They have internal rhythms that help them know when to migrate, hibernate, and such.  Their bodies know when to do these things due to the amount of sunlight in a day, and their instincts among other things.

Animals in the northern hemisphere may not celebrate or even notice that it is the shortest day of the year.  However, over time they will be aware that the days are beginning to grow longer and eventually they may migrate or come out of hibernation once the days are long enough.