First Day Of Winter
Image by Takashi Murakami – Courtesy Google
The winter solstice occurs exactly when the axial tilt of a planet is farthest away from its star, depending on the polar hemisphere of reference. Earth’s maximum axial tilt to our Sun during a solstice is 23° 26′. More evidently from high latitudes, a hemisphere’s wintersolstice occurs on the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the sun’s daily maximum position in the sky is the lowest. Since the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, other terms are often used for the day on which it occurs, such as midwinter, the longest night or the first day of winter.
The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the winter solstice usually occurs on Dec. 21 or 22 each year in the Northern Hemisphere, and June 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere.
Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time. (Wikipedia)