Winter Solstice

What is Winter Solstice?

Four Fun Facts About Winter Solstice

  1. The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning 'the Sun stands still'. The December solstice is actually a specific time. This year, the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is on December 21st, at 15:59 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) which is 10:59 AM EST.

  2. New York City will experience 9 hours and 15 minutes of sunlight, compared to 15 hours and 5 minutes on the summer solstice. Helsinki, Finland will get 5 hours and 49 minutes of light and Barrow, Alaska, will not have a sunrise at all.

  3. The December Solstice can happen on December 20, 21, 22, or 23, though December 20 or 23 solstices are rare. The last December 23 solstice was in 1903 and will not happen again until 2303.

  4. In the Southern Hemisphere, December 21st  is the summer solstice and the longest day of the year, because equinoxes and solstices are on opposite sides of the earth.