First Day of Winter? Shortest Day of the Year!
Yesterday I saw it was “National Short Girl Appreciation Day”, as it was the shortest day (least amount of daylight) of the year.
Today I noticed that it was the “First Day of Winter” according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
So I did a little research, and found that it is the Winter Solstice, it occurs at the same instant everywhere on Earth. In the U.S. it officially occurs at 11:48 p.m. EST, 9:48 p.m. Central, on Monday December 21, 2015. Making yesterday the shortest day of the year, and today the first official day of winter. On the winter solstice the Sun’s path has reached the 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 stand still.
But wait a second; I have been cold way too long for this to be the first day of winter! The winter and summer solstice are mid points in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Therefore, it is really a mid-point of winter, and considered so in many European countries. The Tropic of Capricorn is the astronomical winter , based on when the sun reaches the most southern point on the globe: different from the meteorological winter which refers to the weather and is the three month period running from December to February.
And I will end with a few sayings that might help.
“Deep Snow in winter; tall grain in summer” – Estonian proverb
“Visits should be short, like a winter’s day” – Ben Franklin
“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night” – Steve Martin
And when your kids ask, “Are we there yet?” You can always say, “No, but we are getting closer!”
So what does it all mean? That it is cold, days are short, there will be more snow, BUT it is getting better everyday! In any event Happy Holidays, and stay warm!