Winter Solstice

Category: Seasons
Winter Solstice around the world in 2021

About Winter Solstice

How long until Winter Solstice?
Winter Solstice .
Dates of Winter Solstice
2023 InternationalDec 22
International Fri, Dec 22Observances Holiday
2022 InternationalDec 21
International Wed, Dec 21Observances Holiday
2021 InternationalDec 21
International Tue, Dec 21Observances Holiday
2020 InternationalDec 21
International Mon, Dec 21Observances Holiday
2019 InternationalDec 22
International Sun, Dec 22Observances Holiday
Summary
The arrival of the shortest day of the year has been celebrated since the dawn of mankind.

For six months now, the days have grown shorter and the nights have grown longer in the Northern Hemisphere - but that's about to reverse itself. The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere when the sun appears at its most southerly position, directly overhead at the faraway Tropic of Capricorn.

Winter solstice traditions and celebrations

It's no surprise many cultures and religions celebrate a holiday -- whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or pagan festivals -- that coincides with the return of longer days.

Ancient peoples whose survival depended on a precise knowledge of seasonal cycles marked this first day of winter with elaborate ceremonies and celebrations. Spiritually, these celebrations symbolize the opportunity for renewal, a shedding of bad habits and negative feelings and an embracing of hope amid darkness as the days once again begin to grow longer.

Many of the ancient symbols and ceremonies of the winter solstice live on today.

Dongzhi

Though celebrations at this time of year in the West happen four days later, In China, the Winter Solstice is still celebrated as the Dongzhi Festival.

In Chinese, Dongzhi means 'extreme of winter' and the Dongzhi festival marks the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

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