Although Britain is all set to celebrate the warmest Christmas and to feel the warm radiance of the winter for another couple of months, today is the winter solstice for everyone across the world. The term ‘solstice’, is commonly used to describe the longest or shortest day of the year. For more technical description, when the earth rotates around the sun, the North Pole tilts furthest away from the sun, leading to the occurrence of the solstice. It signifies, in the Northern Hemisphere, less of the earth’s area get covered by the sun during the day, and when the solstice occurs, the day becomes the shortest in length. The UK experiences just 7 hours and 49 minutes of daylight.
Usually, the solstice occurs on 21st of the month of December, but due to the inconsistency between the time we use and the solar time – a leap year occurs every four years and we get an additional day in the year, the time gets differ each year. This year, the solstice occurs on Tuesday, December 22 at 04.49 GMT as the sun rose over Stonehenge in Wiltshire at 08.4. To mark this year’s Winter Solstice predominantly, the Google has decided to present this theme on the Google homepage. In one of their trademark doodles, Google has presented a sight of winter season where pine trees are covered with snows, making the entire sphere look white. It has also featured two ice-skaters gliding around a snow globe. This scenery depicted in the doodle is far different from what is prevailing in some parts of the UK.
The ancient civilization in the UK and abroad have valued solstices as one of the most significant events throughout history and these traditions are going to get revived one more time at Stonehenge during the solstice when druids and pagans congregate on the monument to celebrate the shortest day. Solstice is also considered as the welcoming of the new sun. Things may be same for certain time more, but solstice is a sign of the change that will happen in future. Tomorrow onwards, the days will get longer until the summer solstice occurs in the month of June next year.