10 Interesting Facts about Shortest Day of the Year – 21 December

In most of the time zones on earth, 21 December is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Here are a few things which you might know about the December Solstice.

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1-Many cultures around the world hold feasts and consider it a holiday on the December solstice.

2-The Winter Solstice also is known as the December solstice happens in the Northern Hemisphere and the Summer solstice happens in the southern hemisphere which marks the longest day of the year, in relation to the sunlight.

3-Solstices take place twice every year. it happens firstly around 21 June and then reoccurs around the 21st of December. The June Solstice has the sun directly over the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere. The December or winter solstice has the sun directly above the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere.

4-The solstice occurs at a celebrated time and the perception that most people have that it is to be celebrated for the whole day is wrong. The solstice is only the time when the sun is directly above one of the tropics. In 2015 it will occur on 22 December at 04:48 UTC, for all the locations which are at least 5 hours behind UTC time, the event will occur on 21st December.

5-The solstice dates are not always the same and they may vary a few days with each passing year. The solstice can happen between the 20th till the 23rd although solstices between 20th and 23rd December are rare.

6-The term, solstice, is derived from the Latin word, solstitial which means “the sun standing still” this is since on this day the sun reaches the southernmost region of the earth, or northernmost during the Summer solstice and then reverses the direction of its course. Some places even call it the day the Sun turns around.

7-It is the start of the astronomical winter. In the northern hemisphere, scientists and astronomers use this December solstice as the beginning of winter, which ends with the March Equinox. Meteorologists, however, consider winter begins on the first of December.

8-The earliest sunset does not happen on Solstice day. in most of the places in the northern hemisphere it is easy to see the earliest sunset just a few days before the actual solstice and then the latest sunrise occurs right after the solstice. This takes place since there is a difference in how we measure time using watches and using the ancient sundial.

9-The daylight hours in the northern latitudes increase quickly. If you are in the northern hemisphere, the rate of increase in daylight hours depends on your specific location or latitude. In the more northern latitudes, it is easy to see a far more rapid increase in the hours of daylight in comparison to those who are in the southern latitudes of the northern hemisphere.

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