Happy Birthday To The Sun

solstice_aIt’s probably hard to believe, especially after the frigid temperatures of the past few weeks, that winter doesn’t formally begin until Dec. 21. That day marks Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, significant in that it’s the shortest day of the year, with New York having a little more than nine hours of sunlight.

Interestingly, Winter Solstice is often thought of as the rebirth of the sun. In Germany, the celebration of the Yule festival occurred every Winter Solstice. Yule comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word for “wheel,” as in cycle. The prefix “sol” means “sun” and the suffix “stice” derives from the Latin “sistere”, which means “stand still.” In this case, Winter Solstice is a stand-still day, or turning point, in a cycle of daylight hours. The days leading up to Dec. 21 have less and less sunlight and every day after Dec. 21 has more and more. So the sun is essentially “reborn” on Dec. 21, becoming more and more prominent in the days thereafter until Jun. 21, otherwise known as Summer Solstice and the longest day of
the year.

Of course, in the southern hemisphere, the cycle is reversed, which means Dec. 21 is Summer Solstice. It may be tempting to become envious of the southern hemisphere’s warmer December temperatures, but to quote John Steinbeck, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

Want It In Print?

We now offer matted and framed copies of articles upon request.

Joseph Catrone
Joseph Catrone is the former editor of Farmingdale Observer, Hicksville News, Levittown Tribune and Massapequa Observer.

Leave a Reply




Meal Kits Available To Home-Bound School Children

Hundreds of home-bound families dependent on the daily meals provided by the schools.

Hope For Treating COVID-19

Medical science is feverishly working to develop and test treatments for COVID-19.

Maintaining Skincare And Fillers During COVID-19

Although dark roots and grays might already be peaking through, the good news is that filler lasts six-to-nine months.

Suozzi To Host Teleconference For Small Businesses Adversely Affected By Coronavirus

Suozzi will be joined by representatives from the SBA and lending institutions who can answer questions from small business owners.

 ProHEALTH Dental Offering Teledentistry Appointments

ProHEALTH Dental, with offices in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens and Westchester, has launched a teledentistry program to help both existing and new patients connect with...

Get Updates Via Email

Enter your email to be updated with all the latest news and special announcements.