Tonight is the eve of Winter Solstice. Not sure exactly what winter solstice is or why you should care? Well let me tell you a little about it and you decide if it is worth a thought. First thing to know is that winter solstice officially begins on Wednesday December 21, 2016 at 2:44 am PST. Winter solstice is also referred to as Midwinter, Yule, and The Longest Night to name a few. Tomorrow will mark the longest day of night and the shortest day of the year. Why does a winter solstice even happen you ask? Well without getting too sciencey (not a word), and I am no scientist, it basically comes down to the tilt of Earth's axial and the rotation it creates. Simple enough, right?
The word solstice comes from Latin meaning sun stand still. I always get excited about this day every year because it marks the slow transition back to longer days. Winter solstice also marks the first day of winter, which I would not be too excited about if I were anywhere other than Southern California.
Winter solstice carries significance in many cultures. Tomorrow will be a day of celebration with festivals, food, and family. For example Pagan Germans were influenced by winter solstice and celebrated with Yule. We can thank Yule for the modern Christmas tree tradition.
So there you have it. A few tidbits about winter solstice. It is a day of big celebrations for some and a small, internal cheer for me. Not sure what this winter has in store for me but I will be looking forward to spring and all of my lovely annuals blooming.
Fun Fact - It is believed that Stonehenge was built to celebrate Winter solstice, but that is just a theory and the truth will likely remain a mystery.