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The Midwinter Moment

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Hey, Winter Wonderers!

This isn’t our first time discussing the Winter Solstice. In the past we’ve learned about our ancestor’s reaction to this shortest day of the year as well as its connection to Christmas trees. Today we’re taking a deeper look at this yearly phenomenon. You can call the Solstice by a number of names: The Shortest Day, The Longest Night, Solstice Night, Midwinter, Yule…

We get the word ‘Solstice’ from two Latin words: ‘sol’ meaning sun, and ‘sistere’ which translates ‘to stand still’. We also have the Summer Solstice (the Longest Day) on the opposite end of the year. The Winter Solstice is when we see the sun reach its southern-most position and seemingly stand still.  Makes sense, right?

When to Celebrate
Unknown to most folks, the Winter Solstice isn’t actually a day. It’s shorter than that. It’s that single specific moment of time when the sun sits seemingly still at its southern-most spot above the Tropic of Capricorn. The Winter Solstice arrives at 10:59 a.m., Eastern Time today.

No Rush
You would think that the Solstice must have the earliest sunset, but that’s rarely the case. The earliest sunset is typically a few days before the solstice. The reason that the earliest sunset and the solstice don’t align is because of the different measurements of time: solar time (which is based on the sun’s position in the sky) and manmade time (our measurement of time using clocks).

Only a Little Chilly
With the least amount of daylight, one could figure the Winter Solstice to be the coldest day of the year. But despite there only being about nine hours of sunlight today, temperatures typically have a ways to go down in the coming few weeks as winter deepens.

We all turn the darkest day of the year into the brightest with our natural, festive cheer that’s radiating from all of us like a furnace this time of year. Stay warm on this Winter Solstice night and, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Folks.

 

- John

Posted in Random Thoughts

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