Today is the winter solstice, the astronomical end of autumn and the beginning of winter in our northern hemisphere

The winter solstice is known as the shortest day of the year – and the longest night – as it is the day of the year with the shortest amount of daylight, sky watchers know that the winter solstice is the day when the sun reaches its southernmost point, and trace a low arc across the sky

“In the northern hemisphere, the sun moves the lowest and shortest path across the sky on this day. So the winter solstice in the north brings the shortest day of the year in terms of hours of sunshine,” says NASA’s latest What’s Up blog

This year’s winter solstice is a particularly big deal, as the “Great Conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn will take place on Monday evening – the two giant planets will be so close shortly after sunset that they will appear to merge into one celestial body – a phenomenon that some people call “The Poinsettia” or “The Star of Bethlehem” “While Jupiter and Saturn have a connection every 20 years, this is the first time in 800 years that they seem to be this close together. If you miss this one, it will do not appear again until 2080

The winter solstice officially took place at 5:03 am Monday From now until the summer solstice in June we will be gaining daylight every week

In ancient times, people marked this longest night with the return of light – they did so with candlelight, Christmas logs, and even community fires to light the night.This was celebrated long before an early Pope decided that Christmas should be on December 25 – amidst some already established pagan and secular December celebrations

There are a number of winter solstice-related festivals around the world these days, including the Dongzhi Festival in China and those still celebrating the holiday season, according to a NASA blog by Gordon Johnston

So if you need a little reason to celebrate before we get into the swing of the more traditional holidays this month, here are a few ways you can go back to an earlier time and take advantage of the winter solstice to say goodbye in 2020:

Burn a Christmas log in your fireplace: or light a campfire in the back yard, or just put some candles on a table together. Light wards off the longest night and welcomes the return of the sun

Write down what you’d like to leave behind in 2020: Between the coronavirus pandemic, rising unemployment, and a host of other problems (murder hornets, anyone?), parts of this year were a dumpster fire. Write on a piece of paper, what the hard parts were, and then throw them in the fire. For Seinfeld fans, it’s kind of a Festivus charisma, but with flames, better days are to come
Sweeping Out the Old: A solstice ritual is to grab a broom and literally sweep the negative energy of the year straight out of your door.Some people opt for a pollution ritual instead, a cleansing smoke made from sage, incense, or sweet grass

Toasting the Solstice: This might just be an excuse to raise a New Year’s glass a little earlier, but we’ll take it.Many people mark the solstice with a community toast or as a gathering of friends this year, even toasts are over Zoom planned

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Winter Solstice

World News – FI – 4 Ways To Adopt Winter Solstice Kiss Goodbye 2020

Source: https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/12/4-ways-to-embrace-the-winter-solstice-kiss-2020-goodbye.html