The solstices are the times of the year when that the Sun is closer to or further from the Earth’s hemispheres, causing one to be the longest day and the other the shortest. In the first case, summer will have arrived and in the second, it will be winter. From an astronomical perspective, these are the moments when the Sun reaches its maximum declination in the north (+ 23º 26 ‘) or in the south (−23º 26’) with respect to the Earth’s equator.
When will winter come in 2019
The solstices occur because the earth’s axis presents an axial inclination. This is what makes the star king reach his extreme position at a certain time of the year. That is, when it is at the most distant point from the equator line. A) Yes, around June 21 the summer solstice happens in the northern hemisphere and in the south the winter one develops. Around December 21, it happens the other way around, the winter solstice occurs in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice occurs in the south.
Another phenomenon associated with this natural event is the duration of the days. The first day of winter takes place the shortest day of the year and the longest night. While when summer arrives, the shortest night and the longest day occur. But this only happens at the same time of the solstice.
The dates of the solstices can vary from year to year because there is a slight lag in the calendar we use. Actually the duration of the Earth’s orbit slightly exceeds 365 days, that is why you have to make an adjustment with leap years. However, this is also the reason why the day of the solstices changes every year, both in date and time. Usually, the winter one occurs between December 20 and 23.
The 2019 winter solstice in the Earth’s northern hemisphere will happen on Sunday, December 22 at 04:19 UTC. The one in the southern hemisphere has already taken place and was on June 21.
Differences with the equinoxes
To understand the difference between solstice and equinox, you have to understand what the Earth’s orbit is like. This has an elliptical shape, so that its axes are of different sizes, the solstices develop when the Earth stops at the point of one of the sides of the major axis.
With the equinoxes, the opposite occurs because they occur when reaching the points that constitute the ends of the minor axis of the orbit. In spring (March) and autumn (September) the Sun is over the equator and there are the same hours of light as without it.
Winter solstice curiosities
During the winter or winter solstice a series of curious phenomena occur, such as that the nights are longer throughout their duration, but as it progresses they decrease until the summer is approaching, and we begin to appreciate that the days are getting longer. At the North Pole it is always night because the Sun never rises, since it remains 23º below the horizon. While at the South Pole it circulates through the sky at a constant altitude of 24º.
The word solstice comes from Latin Solstitium and of the fusion of two words, Sun (sun) and sistere (stopped or static), whose exact translation would be “quiet sun”. Actually this is what happens, that is, it gives the feeling that at this moment the sun seems not to move in the sky. This happens because when approaching the equator it seems that the cycle has stopped in time.
The arrival of the winter solstice is linked to numerous celebrations and rituals around the world. In the northern hemisphere the return of the Sun was considered, since from then on the nights began to get shorter and this was a reason for joy and gratitude. Over time, these pagan festivals were assumed by the Catholics, since the solar star has always been associated with rebirth and hope.
That is why the Catholic Church decided that the December 25th It was an appropriate date to celebrate the Nativity of Jesus Christ, since when it was determined it was the day on which the winter solstice occurred. Thus, it was conferred that symbolic character that it had in the rest of the world and at the same time, this pagan meaning that was linked, and whose original celebration was called Sol Invictus.
In other countries there are specific traditions, as in Mexico, which these days maintain an event that dates back to the time of the Aztecs. They welcome the new sun and celebrate the birth of the child Mexi Huitzilopochtli, a deity of this culture. In Japan, celebrations are held for the resurgence of Amaterasu, the goddess of the Sun in Shintoism and ancestor of the Japanese imperial family. In pakistan They also have a winter festival that welcomes this event with joy and, in addition, is the hogmanay, which takes place in Edinburgh (Scotland) and which involves three days of holidays until the end of the year.