Winter Solstice

long shadow
Because of the way the Earth tilts, your shadow is longest during the Winter Solstice.

Have you noticed that the days are getting shorter? That’s because the Winter Solstice is coming. This December 21st will be the shortest day of the year in North America.

What makes the Winter Solstice happen? It has to do with the way the Earth tilts as it moves around the sun. When the North Pole tilts furthest away from the sun, it is known as the Winter Solstice. The northern part of the world has its shortest day. That means the night is very long. It is also a day when you have a very long shadow.

In many cultures, people would have feasts or festivals for the solstice. That’s why today there are many important holidays around this time of year. Because it is the longest night of the year, there are many superstitions about the Winter Solstice. Some cultures believed that evil spirits walked the earth. One culture even believed that the world would end on the Winter Solstice in 2012. It didn’t!

What Do You Think? Why do you think the Winter Solstice is an interesting event?

Photo Credit: Ingram Publishing