December 21, 2022.
Jumpin’ Jack, feathered flock ….. Fall dances into winter
Days turn cold, nights long dark ….. Return sun! Kat doth hinter.
Sleepy plants above ground rest ….. Awaiting warming sun.
But underground, plant roots fest ….. Winter is for fun.
Today’s the day, Earth’s tip at max ….. Solstice is upon us.
Sunlight grows, it bounces back ….. Time to raise a ruckus……
What is a Solstice and Why.
Ancient astronomers, noticing that when the Sun reached either its highest (Summer) or lowest (Winter) point in the sky for the year, appeared to stand still. They came to know these two days as “solstice,” a word that combines the Latin “sol” for Sun and “sistere” for To Stand Still.
Contrary to common thinking, the Solstice doesn’t last a full calendar day. Instead, it lasts only a brief moment before the earth begins to right itself, causing daylight hours to either shorten (Summer Solstice) or lengthen (Winter Solstice). And depending on where you live, the change in daylight hours can be swift (8-9 minutes/day above the Arctic Circle), to less than 1 minute/day as you near the equator.
The Northern Hemisphere’s Winter Solstice 2022, occurs Wednesday, December 21st. Also known as the hibernal (from the Latin hibernalis which means anything wintery) solstice or The Longest Night, it’s the time when the Earth reaches it maximum tilt away from the sun. The Winter Solstice, the day the sun is as far south as possible, marks the official beginning of astronomical winter (as opposed to meteorological winter, which starts about three weeks prior to the solstice). And just for fun ….. stand outside at noon on December 21st, and if the sun is shining take a look at your shadow. This will be the longest shadow you’ll cast for the whole year!
Solstice marks the changing of seasons, and has been cause for celebration in many cultures over hundreds of years.
How will you commemorate this Winter Solstice!