As PNW residents, we are no strangers to lack of sun. Especially with the approach of the winter solstice, which falls on Thursday, December 21st. The solstice marks the shortest daylight hours of the year.

Though the shortest day of the year, the solstice unifies humans the world over. The Hopi Indian Tribe in Arizona celebrates Soyal, Iranians celebrate Yalda, and even researchers on Antarctica recognize the winter solstice. Whether you celebrate this year’s solstice with a special meal, by putting up holiday decorations, or by simply hiding under the covers until Spring, know that you are not alone on the shortest day of the year.


Some fascinating facts about the winter solstice:

  • The northern hemisphere is closest to the sun during the winter solstice.
  • The actual earliest sunset of the year will fall around the solstice, but not on the day itself.
  • This date signifies the start of astronomical winter, but not meteorologically speaking.