The winter solstice lasts for just one moment. It occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. This usually happens around December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere or June 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere. The solstice of 2010 is also marked by a full moon and an adjoining lunar eclipse that will make the moon look reddish in a cloudless sky. What exactly is an eclipse, and why will the moon look red? Check out our explanation, here.
If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, during the solstice the sun will be at its southernmost point in the sky. The higher in latitude you are, the more you will notice that the solstice has the shortest day and longest night of the year.
In ancient cultures around the globe, the winter solstice was marked with ceremonies and celebrations. For example, in the days of the Inca Empire the winter solstice was honored with Inti Raymi, or Festival of the Sun. It involved a ceremony in which an Inca priest would “tie” the sun to a column stone in a symbolic effort to keep it from escaping.
Half way around the world, indigenous people in Finland, Sweden, and Norway participated in the Beiwe Festival. On the winter solstice, worshippers honored the goddess Beiwe by sacrificing white female animals and covering their doorposts with butter for Beiwe to eat on her travels.
What does the winter solstice mean for you? Let us know below.
Winter solstice means making homemade foods that are native to America, opening presents, checking out my stocking, and enjoying family time!
The winter solstice means a nice, cold, and hopefully snowy winter for me, even though a lot of people don’t like snow. It also means my birthday is coming up.
If you have a wish, put it out there, pray or say it outloud. Powerful magic out there tonight. (dec 20th)
Winter solstice means celebrating the pagan holiday of Yule and honoring whatever gods you worship. Also, celebrating the return of the light.
It means I have hopes of finding old friends and new by singing thanks aloud. I hope my wishes come true today…
December 21 has been celebrated since ancient times because it’s Joe Paterno’s birthday. Various heavenly signs also mark the event.
It means these days are going to start getting longer again and I’ll be back out in my garden in just a few short months!
It means I can go out on my break tonight at work at look at the lunar eclipse! Can’t wait! Happy Solstice and holiday cheer for all!
so nice EVENT , I ENJOY THE SKAY
It’s raining where I live. -_-
the sky is magnificence
this is el chulo sde asndromeda
The lunar eclipse was wonderful! What a great way to start winter!
It means a homecoming, whereby, for both hemispheres, Earth is at its nearest point in its orbit of the sun, which is in turn aligned with the galactic centre.
It also means we can enjoy snow, if we have snow.And also we can have family fun time togather with friends n relativesXD
In China solstice means the thankfulness for the past-cosy year, and the longing for the new year.
By the way,happy birthday to Anthony ^^
Living in the southern hemisphere, did the Incas “tie” the sun in Dec. (their summer solstice) to keep daylight from declining, now that it was nice and long(never worked, did it…) or in June (their winter solstice) to keep it from getting lesser yet and so bring back to spring (apparently, that worked every time)?
you hear a lot about the longest day of the year @ the first day of summer but i never hear about the longest night the first day of winter.
Enjoyed an extraordinary full lunar eclipse on a cloudless and warm winter solstice in New Orleans. The event was one now permanently etched in my memory files. Waiting almost 400 more years for a repeat.
It’s my birthday!
The winter solstice means getting your boy/girl and sit outside and enjoy a nice night. Enjoy the solstice everyone!
The Incas would celebrate the winter solstice during their winter in June. I went to the Inti Raymi festival in June 2006. It was an awesome experience!! I highly recommend it.
The winter solstice means an end of an era and the beginning of a new era full of new experiences and lessons to learn, plus the eclipse and the full moon, we should think who we are now and change what its wrong with us or improve to be better persons.
The winter solstice means…There is a God! Great is He!
Spending time with friends, being introspective, honouring my gods and ancestors, and celebrating the return of the light.
Happy Solstice, everyone. <3
Until I retired in July 2010 I was up at 4 AM to prepare for my day. I would hve had the opportunity to see the eclipse. ow, I tend to sleep later, usually arising at 6 AM and, unfortunately I missed the magificence of this event. Alas, retirement does have some negative consequences.
Winter Solstice is the name of the book I faithfully read every December..by Rosmunde Pilcher, Scottish author.
“The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1
Means hoping that the morning sky will be clear for Newgrange, Ireland when a 5000yr old stone-age monument plays a great trick with the light.
This morning was super clear – hurrah/
[...] shortest and the longest with other “SOLSTICE” variables being: Summer/Winter, Northern/Southern hemispheric, Day/Night conditions seeing — [...]
Frankly I never celebrated the solstice and I likely won’t for years to come. All I know is it wasn’t worth staying up to see the eclipse this morning. MN skies were too cloudy thus ruining the effort.
The winter solstice means nothing for me. It doesn’t pay.
Happy birthday to all who celebrates a “December” birthday! My birthday is today also=:))
Solstices are not rare; they happen twice a year, every year. Likewise, eclipses are not rare–you can witness a solar and lunar eclipse about once every two years.
what about us here in asia we dont have winter so we don have winter solstice: whahahahahaha
that was absolutely gorgeous! wish it could have lasted longer:( oh well… at least it was amazing!
It marks exactly two years till the world ends.
[...] the earth is furthest from the sun. Or more precisely it means it is winter solstice. The winter solstice lasts for just one moment. It occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from [...]
hi, winter solitice was amazing with the red sky!
getting close to the fam, because we will be close for awhile.
Solstice means reading Lovecraft’s seasonal poetry and greetings, as well as a few of his on-point stories, giving gifts and celebrating the start of the sun’s return with friends.
Oh! And zombies.
i’ve lit a candle for years at sundown on Winter Solstice as a beacon, so the Sun can find its way back. So far it has worked every time.
Ahhh,Solstice! Perhaps a tie-in with the Christian myth of the promised return of the SON(sun)?
Eclipse last night. It was a winter solstice lunar eclipse, which is hyper rare, but not very amazing. The moon was a little reddish. Winter solistice means: “What? I thought I was winter already!” every year. Like tradition.
Winter Solstice means the beginning of the winter as you all know and it is also called Chhleh Bozorg in Persian meaning the big 40 days—so for the next 40 days we have cold days an dat the end Persian celebrate the small 40 days. Persians have huge reverence and celebrate the winter solstice to mark the birth of sun as the days get longer each day and thus the celebration of lights in mitraism….
ITS JAN 28TH WHERE I LIVE
Hi you/we all! As usual I am so very late for the above winter solstice.
Well tomorrow, Friday September 23, 2011, we ar to usher the Autumn (or Harvest as it it used to be known).
However the response for soltice would be remembering the story of Angela Carter’s “In Company of Woolves” that we had to for our course Critical Thinking: Narrative. Ooohhh it was quite something!– Frightfully intersting. I enjoyed it very much; I learned a lot too.
Forgive this lateness, but as they say better late than never.
it means science and fun
I feel another hope when I’m in winter solstice. Even though we’re in winter after solstice, the day is getting longer and it means the night is gettin shorter. The Sun comes early in the morning and brightens our day splendidly.
hahaha’! D Hii ‘!
Joseephhh waas’! heeree’! D
‘! i loveee myy boyyfriieend’! <3 L'&B
[...] winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. (Want to learn more about the difference between a solstice and an equinox? Find out here.) The word harvest comes from the Old Norse word haust meaning “to [...]