The winter solstice explained Children’s press article

Northern Hemisphere winter kicks off on December 21, 2021 (Public domain / Flickr)

On Tuesday, December 21, residents of the Northern Hemisphere will enjoy the shortest day of 2021. Known as the Winter Solstice, it also marks the start of the astronomical Winter. This means that if the following days get longer, they will also be colder. Conversely, residents of the southern hemisphere will celebrate summer solstice – the start of their astronomical summer – with the longest day and the shortest night of the year.

the disparate the seasons are the result of the Earth’s rotation around the Sun and its own axis, which is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees. The December solstice marks the time when the northern hemisphere is farthest away from the sun. Therefore, he receives significantly less sun than the southern hemisphere, which is inclined towards the star.

The date of the solstice varied slightly from year to year and can fall anywhere from December 20 to 23. It is because the Gregorian calendar has 365 days, with an additional “leap” day every four years. It is not match precisely with the solar year, which lasts 365.2422 days. Although the whole day is famous, the solstice occurs when the sun reaches its southernmost point in the sky. In 2021, it will be 10:59 a.m. EST (7:59 a.m. PST).

Winter solstice sunset at Stonehenge (Credit: Mark Grant, / CC BY-SA-2.5 / Wikimedia Commons)

The winter solstice was particularly important for ancient cultures. The longer days that followed brought comfort that the Sun had not left them. The ‘rebirth’ of the star was marked by to elaborate ceremonies performed in structures specially built for the occasion.

Among the most famous is Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. the prehistoric religious site understand a modest circle of stones precisely aligned in the direction of summer solstice sunrise and winter solstice sunset. The old one monument still attracts hundreds of people during the solstices.

Newgrange, a funeral mound in Ireland’s Boyne Valley, is also a popular solstice destination. the massive The stone structure, which dates back over 5,000 years, is designed to receive a ray of light into its central chamber at the dawn of the winter solstice. Although the event is closed to visitors due to the pandemic, the Amazing sunrise will be broadcast live from the bedroom from December 20-22, 2021.

Many towns and villages have started their own winter solstice traditions. In Japan, residents, and even some zoo animals, soak in hot tubs filled with yuzu, a citrus fruit. reputed provide the body immunity colds. In Korea, the winter solstice is called Dongzhi, or “Little Lunar New Year”. It celebrates the symbolic return of the sun. Many families observe on the special day by eating patjuk – a red bean porridge made from adzuki beans and rice flour dumplings known as saealshim. Residents also sprinkle red beans around the house to ward off evil spirits.

Mazes of light are a winter solstice staple in Vancouver, Canada (Credit: https://www.secretlantern.org)

The Secret Lantern Society of Vancouver, Canada marks the Winter Solstice with processions, music and artistic performances at four locations across the city. Of them premises also include the Mazes of light. the superb the displays, each comprising 700 lighted candles, are designed to provide visitors with a soothing moment experience.

Resources: earthsky.org, theseoulguide.com, wikipedia.org.