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An Introduction to the Winter Solstice

Emma Sullivan, Editor-in-Cheif

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The days just keep getting shorter, right? Well, on December 21 at 5:23 PM (in the Northern Hemisphere, that is) the winter solstice will occur. In addition to being the first day of winter, the solstice marks the shortest day of the year.

Back when the Earth was being formed, an object knocked the emerging planet on an axis, causing us to have the seasons and different length days we enjoy today. Cultures around the world celebrate the solstice with rituals, gift giving and other festivities. In north Arizona, the Hopi Indians celebrate with dance and the creation of prayer sticks. In Iran, people observe Yalda, a Persian holiday celebrating light over darkness. Even in ancient times, the Romans observed Saturnalia with food, drink, and games.

So this winter solstice, don’t dismiss the solstice as the darkest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere. Celebrate, as people around the world are celebrating the return of the sun.

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