Published on December 21st, 2018 | by sligoadmin0
Shortest Day – Longest Night
Today is marked by the winter solstice. Midwinter marks a turning point. It occurs when one of earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere. This time it’s the northern hemisphere’s turn.
A debate has been raging for years around the date. Wise men and women the world over have argued whether the 21st December, our winter solstice, is the shortest day or the longest night of the year. It’s semantics really and basically amounts to the same.
Despite the debate and argument there’s always one or two gobshites who’ll immediately point out that the days will start to get longer from now on. Every year it’s the same f*&^*&g thing.
Midwinter has been celebrated for thousands of years – even before Christianity – it’s the death of the old sun and birth of the new sun. The Romans called it Saturnalia and it was gradually replaced by Christmas throughout the empire. Many of its customs survive as Christmas traditions.
Solstice literally means – sun stands still and it happens at a specific time – 4:30pm in Sligo.