But a solar day is the time it takes for the Sun to return to due north (or local noon) each day and it varies across the year. It's the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, with just 9 hours and 32 seconds of possible daylight in G.R. and no sun north of the Arctic Circle. For a complete listing of the dates of the winter and summer solstices and the spring and fall equinoxes through 2025, check out this calendar from the U.S. Naval Observatory.
The equator is an imaginary line drawn right around Earth's middle, like a belt.
The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstice the Sun appears to stand still in its downward path before reversing direction.
The opposite is true in the Southern Hemisphere where the day is long because the sun will be at its highest point in the sky today.
Music is as fit, if not more fitting way, for reflection and spiritual uplift, on this long evening - tonight frm 8-10 pm, at Eglise, St. Joseph des Peres, Jesuites, Rue, Achrafieh, there is an "Un Noel Baroque", performed by the USJ Choir.
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Because the Earth is tilted on its axis at a 23.4-degree angle, the planet experiences different seasons throughout the year. And one of the most well-known winter solstice celebration is Yule, the pagan tradition of welcoming the sunrise with gratitude.
Winter solstice has been celebrated for hundreds of years in Britain, pre-dating Christianity.
We lose about two minutes of daylight a day, and by December 21 the sun is up for only nine hours and 27 minutes. "This effect, called 'the lag of the seasons, ' is similar to how when you turn down the heat while you're cooking - the pot won't immediately reach its coolest temperature".
From a timing point of view, if you go by your clock or watch then every day is a standard 24 hours long (give or take the odd leap second).
So far we have only considered the tilt of the Earth.
While the shortest day can be kind of a bummer, it has a little silver lining: It means that from here, sunlight will stick around longer and longer.