Winter Solstice and its Significance
The word solstice is derived from the Latin word ‘solstitum’ which stands for the Sun standing still. It is on this day the Sun seems to stand still at the Tropic of Capricon & then reverses its direction as it reaches the southernmost position. It is also referred to as the sunturn.
The Winter solstice happens when the Sun reaches its southern most declination of -23.5 degrees. It means that the when the North Pole is titled farthest from the Sun, it delivers the fewest hours of sunlight of the year. The day after the Winter solstice marks beginning of the increasing length of days, which leads to the summer solstice, occurring in June.
On the other hand, the opposite of it is true in the Southern Hemisphere. The people there will experience their longest day and shortest night.
Does it occur always on December 21st ?
Winter solstice more often falls on December 21. In the Northern Hemisphere it is the shortest day of the year as it is tilted away from the sun and thus receives the least amount of sunlight.
The solstice can also happen on December 20, 21, 22 or 23, but 20 or 23 are rare days. The last solstice of December 23 happened in 1903.