Winter Solstice sunset at Macaulay Point Park (Heather K Jones Photography)

Check your calendars – it’s the winter solstice already!

Thursday, December 21st will see the shortest amount of daylight and the longest period of nighttime in the year for the Northern hemisphere. The sun will rise at 8:28 AM and set at 4:21 PM.

The reason for the shortened daytime is due to the tilt in the Earth’s axis, which causes an imbalance between the amount of daylight received by the Northern and Southern hemisphere at any given time.

It’s all uphill from here

From here on out, the days will get longer and you’ll be able to break out the beach gear before you know it!

The Winter Solstice also marks the first day of winter – the hours of sunshine will continue to increase until the Summer Solstice on Thursday, June 21st, 2018, and the cycle will continue again.

What does Stonehenge have to do with the Winter Solstice?

Some people who are truly dedicated to the solstice often visit Stonehenge (located about two and a half hour drive away from London) to celebrate the Winter Solstice Festival.

The prehistoric stone structure is perfectly aligned to view solstices and equinoxes and has, in the past, served as a location for pagan rituals.

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