Today is the Winter Solstice! Autumn has officially come to an end. The winter solstice occurs when the sun's position in the sky is at its greatest angular distance from the hemisphere, resulting in the shortest day and longest night of the year. For the Northern Hemisphere, this usually occurs between December 21 – 23 each year. In the Southern Hemisphere it takes place between June 20 – 23.
Did you know that the word “solstice” means, “sun stands still”? This seasonal milestone has been celebrated since ancient times. The Romans, for example, honored Saturn, the god of time and harvest, with a weeklong feast called Saturnalia.
While the traditions surrounding the winter solstice differ from culture to culture, most recognize it as a symbol of rebirth. Various festivals, gatherings, and rituals take place today worldwide. To celebrate the winter solstice, attend a local festival or spend time with your friends and family around a cozy fire.