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Winter Solstice – Today (Dec 21st) Is The Shortest Day Of The Year

From Stonehenge in England to the Kokino observatory in Macedonia, people are gathering to mark the winter solstice.

Dec. 21 is the shortest day of the year, in terms of daylight hours, in the Northern Hemisphere. At 12:30 a.m. ET (or 5:30 a.m. GMT) on Dec. 22, the hemisphere begins its tilt back toward the sun, marking the winter solstice in this part of the world and slowly leading to longer days.

The solstice is the result of a tilt in the Earth’s orbit around the sun that affects the number of daylight hours. The Northern Hemisphere leans farthest away from the sun at this time of year, making the solstice — derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (stand still) — the shortest day of the year and the first official day of winter.

While some may not think it a cause for celebration, the solstice is a day of deep historical and cultural significance.

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