The Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere happens twice per year: once on December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere, and once in June in the Southern Hemisphere. The solstice is a day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. This is due to the fact that the earth has one of its poles at its maximum tilt away from the sun. The pole facing away from the sun is the one that is experiencing winter at that time of the year.
Although we recognize the Winter Solstice as a full day, it is actually only a short moment in time. Depending on where you are in the Northern Hemisphere, the length of sunlight will vary. For example, on December 21st, the city of Moscow only sees the sun for 7 hours, whereas Hong Kong has sunlight for 10 hours. This is one of the most intriguing part of the Winter Solstice. You may have also heard the Winter Solstice referred to as “midwinter”, “extreme of winter”, or the “shortest day.”
Although this may seem like just another day, many cultures find this day to have very significant meaning such as rebirth, or the beginning of the holidays. In fact, many cultural traditions began from the Winter Solstice. This day was very important for even neolithic people as suggested by the layout of certain ancient monuments. It was the only way that they knew the winter was about to come. For example, the famous monument known as the Stonehenge is thought to have been created for this exact day. When the winter solstice occurs, it passes directly through The Great Trilithon (the main piece of the Stonehenge).
So, why would neolithic people create such a monument? This was a way to show them exactly when winter was about to occur so they could prepare for the starvation they would soon endure due to such cold months. The Winter Solstice was a huge celebration in which the people of this era would get together to have their last large feast of the year. They would slaughter the cattle and enjoy their final day of plenty.
Now that you know a little more about this holiday, you may think, "I don't have the same famine problems that they did at this time. How am I supposed to celebrate this holiday if?" Well, as you have read above, the Winter Solstice was a day that family and friends got together to enjoy a large meal together. This is something we are still able to do. We can get together with our friends and family and give thanks for the blessings and abundance of food that we have, as well as the holidays to come. If you want to celebrate the Winter Solstice, invite over your friends and family. You can have a potluck and ask everyone to bring over a food that they like to share. Tell everyone that you are thankful for them, and give thanks to the bounty of food that you have, too.
If after reading this article, this is something that you are very interested in but cannot afford, you may want to look into installment loans. Installment loans are easy and quick to pay back, and should not set you back financially. This small loan can help you throw a nice get-together and also have some extra for the coming holidays.
Happy Winter Solstice, and Happy Holidays!