Today is the Celebration of Winter Solstice Traditions – Monday, December 21, 2009 marks the Winter Solstice traditions, and this is the announcement of the official start of the winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter Solstice is also known as Yule.
More precisely, winter solstice will take place at 12:47 pm EST (1747 GMT) on Dec. 21. It is a date that will also mark the shortest day and longest night.
Winter solstice falls every year around Dec. 21. It is because of the earth’s axial tilt, which is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. At this time of the year, the sun is closer to the horizon, thus giving out least amount of daylight therefore shortening the day and lengthening the night.
But there is a bright side to it. Starting Tuesday, the days will start getting longer, leading to summer solstice, which in 2010 will fall on June 21. At that time, the day will be the longest with the daytime lasting for about 15 hours compared to 9 hours on Monday.
Now, what are the traditional celebrations during the Winter Solstice? Throughout the history, solstices have been accompanied with the countless cultural and religious traditions.
Our ancestors lived in a world where everyone believed in mystery and magic. Every year, they gathered together to celebrate the seemingly miraculous return of the light after the longest night of the year and that’s how Winter Solstice festivals were born. To this day, people all over the world celebrate Winter Solstice as a time of rebirth, a new beginning and a chance to marvel at the power of transition from darkness into light.