The Van Trump Report

Today is the First Day Of Winter

Despite most of us enjoying the beautiful weather this December, today marks the first day of Winter, with the Winter Solstice occurring at 9:59 p.m. CST on December 21. The first day of winter is also known as being the shortest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere – it’s the longest day of the year for those in the Southern Hemisphere. This year, we will only see 8 hours and 48 minutes of daylight, leaving us in the dark for about 15 hours, 12 minutes. But in the days to follow, daylight will slowly but surely start to increase and winter officially ends on March 20, 2022.  

The word solstice derives from the Latin word solstitium, which translates to “sun standing.” This is because at the moment of solstice, the sun’s position in the sky relative to the horizon at noon, which increases and decreases throughout the year, appears to pause in the days surrounding the solstice. At the winter solstice, the Sun’s path has reached its southernmost position. The next day, the path will advance northward. However, a few days before and after the winter solstice, the change is so slight that the Sun’s path seems to stay the same, or standstill. The Sun is directly overhead at “high-noon” on Winter Solstice at the latitude called the Tropic of Capricorn. 

The day after the winter solstice marks the beginning of lengthening days, leading up to the summer solstice in June. For many ancient civilizations that lived their daily lives in much closer association with nature than we do today, the winter solstice was a hugely important point each year. Celebrations of the lighter days to come have been common throughout history with feasts, festivals and holidays, as well as various tributes. Below are a few of the most popular, along with some other interesting facts about winter: (Sources: Live Science, Time-Science Magazine,

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