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TODAY is the shortest day of the 12 months with the Winter Solstice solar setting at 3.53pm.
However how do folks mark this present day and what’s the which means behind it? Let’s take a better look…
Winter Solstice has been celebrated for 1000’s of yearsCredit score: Getty – Contributor
What’s the Winter Solstice?
It marks the day of the 12 months with the fewest daylight hours, or just the shortest day within the 12 months.
The phrase solstice actually means, in Latin, that the solar is standing nonetheless.
That is as a result of it marks the purpose when one of many Earth’s poles has its most tilt away from the Solar.
What traditions are held in the course of the winter solstice?
Pagan and druid communities within the UK and Eire costume in conventional costumes and mark the primary dawn after the astronomical occasion.
What are another Winter Solstice celebrations like?
Celebrations of the lighter days to come back have been frequent all through historical past with feasts, festivals and holidays across the December solstice celebrated by cultures throughout the globe.
- St Thomas’s Day: That is noticed by Christians world wide
- Feast of Juul: Marked in Scandinavia the place folks gentle fires to symbolise the warmth and lightweight of the returning solar.
- Yalda: An Iranian pageant celebrated on the “longest and darkest night time of the 12 months” the place watermelons are eaten to guard towards extreme warmth or illness.
- Palo Volador: In Guatemala Mayan Indians indulge within the ritual referred to as the “flying pole dance”.
Individuals collect for dawn at Newgrange in Eire on the morning of the winter solsticeCredit score: PA:Press Affiliation
How do pagans and druids have a good time the Winter Solstice?
Yearly, a whole lot of individuals additionally collect at Stonehenge for the Winter Solstice, which falls round December 21.
It’s the day with the shortest interval of daylight and the longest night time of the 12 months.
On the solstice, folks collect at Stonehenge within the early morning to look at the dawn over the stones.
The Winter Solstice can also be celebrated in Newgrange in Co Meath in Eire.
Stonehenge is a focus for Winter Solstice celebrations within the UKCredit score: Getty – Contributor
Why is Stonehenge and Newgrange related to the winter solstice?
The stones of Stonehenge have silently marked the Winter Solstice for 1000’s of years.
They have been formed and set as much as body a minimum of two essential occasions within the annual photo voltaic cycle.
One is the midsummer dawn on the summer time solstice – the opposite is the midwinter sundown on the winter solstice.
In Newgrange, Co Meath, throughout dawn on the shortest day of the 12 months, direct daylight can enter the monument for 17 minutes.
Not by way of the doorway, however by way of the specifically contrived small opening above the doorway referred to as the “roof field” the place it illuminates its chamber.
The passage tomb at NewgrangeCredit score: De Agostini – Getty