Winter Solstice is Here

The Winter Solstice occurs when either of Earth’s poles reaches its maximum tilt away from the Sun. It is also commonly referenced as the “darkest” day of the year — when Americans get as little as six hours of daylight — also making it the “shortest” day of the year.

According to the National Weather Service, the exact timing of this event will happen at 10:21 p.m. EST.

While this day is referred to as the darkest and shortest, other cultures have found reason to celebrate it. This excerpt describes it as a time to remember that the sun, and warmer brighter days, will be making their return:

“People in Mesopotamia, Persia, Babylon, and even ancient Greece and Rome all held celebrations in late December and early January, rejoicing at the Sun’s impending triumph over darkness. The life-giving Sun had “bottomed out” and was beginning its long march back to the north, foreshadowing warmer weather in the future.”