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Facts about the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year

Winter Solstice may not be celebrated now like earlier times, but some of our beloved holidays come around this annual event.

It is said that that a day without sunshine is like being at night. Our life and world depend on the warm rays from the Sun, so much so that if they are short, we are cold, and if we get them in abundance, everything around us comes to life. So, with the whirl and bustle of the holiday season, we don’t pay attention to the advent of the Winter Solstice. So, here are some of the facts about the shortest day of the year.

There are two Winter Solstice each year.

Solstices is a phenomenon that happens twice a year. With the earth’s orbit tilted at its axis, the planet’s hemispheres also swap, deciding who gets direct sunlight over the whole year. DespiteNorthern Hemisphere is being closer to the Sun during the winter season, it is because of the tilt away from the Sun, which causes less light and cooler temperature. But this is the time when Southern Hemisphere is warm and cosy. So, when we celebrate the Winter Solstice on December 21st, the Southern Hemisphere would do that on June 21st.

When the Sun stands still

The term is derived from Latin, like many other astronomical terms. The Sun appears to be standing still in the sky when it reaches the Tropic of Capricorn. So, the Latin word solstitium, which is made up of sol, meaning Sun and Sistere, which means standstill makes the word Solstice.

Nine hours shorter

We all know that day of the Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, but not many of you know that it is almost nine hours shorter than the longest day of the year,i.e., Summer Solstice. The Summer Solstice in the month of June is short of 16hours and 38 minutes long, whereas the Winter Solstice is 7 hours and 50 minutes long.

The day of discoveries

The Winter Solstice was the day when we were blessed with many new discoveries. The pilgrims who wanted the right to worship freely came to Plymouth on December 21st, 1620. Madame Curie and Pierre Curie ushered us all to the atomic age with the discovery of radium on December 21st, 1898. And lastly, the first crewed moon mission Apollo 8, was launched on December 21st, 1968.

So, enjoy these cold facts about the Winter Solstice over a hot cup of coffee.

Priyadarshini Kaul

Priyadarshini Kaul Mishra has two Master’s Degrees in English Literature and History. She is actively following her passion for the language by being a content creator since many years now. Besides this, Priyadarshini is a true bookworm at heart and tries to be an avid reader despite being a full-time mother now. She is also a professionally certified baker and puts on the oven mitts every now and then.
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