The time and date of the solstice change slightly each year, but this year's solstice occurs at 11:28 a.m. In the Northern Hemisphere it can happen anytime between December 20th and 23rd, depending on the year.
In English, the world solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning "sun standing still".
We all learned in elementary school that each day is 24 hours long, but it turns out that's actually an average for the overall year. Outside the tropic zones, whether to the south or north, the Sun is never directly overhead. That doesn't really matter, so long as you're at an latitude with long summer days and short winter days.
The Yule log is one of the most anticipated factors of the celebration. Tomorrow it will be at 4:44 p.m.
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The opposite is true in the Southern Hemisphere where the day is long because the sun will be at its highest point in the sky today. However, it's never the day of the latest sunrise or earliest sunset.
Because the Earth is tilted on its axis at a 23.4-degree angle, the planet experiences different seasons throughout the year. It's an old proverb that certainly has some scientific truth.
For many people worldwide, the winter solstice is all about welcoming the return of the sun, when the darkness begins to turn to light.
You would think our temperatures will be at the coldest on the Winter Equinox but the truth is that there is a lag time in the cold. This tilt is the cause of Earth's seasons. Oceans and bodies of water - which take longer than land to heat up and cool down - keep temperatures from rising very fast. The log not only is to burn all not, but much of the holiday season of Christmas as well.
Most years, it falls on the 21st in the United Kingdom, but sometimes it lands a little bit off-kilter, because it takes the Earth 365 and a quarter days to go around the sun.