Definition, rituals, everything you need to know about winter solstice

Winter. How is this winter 2021 set? Why is it the shortest day of the year and the longest night? What is the difference between Sankranti and Uttarayana? But what are the traditions and rituals associated with the winter solstice? Definition, Date, Pagan Festival … Here are the answers to the secrets of the winter solstice!

[Mis à jour le 21 décembre 2021 à 17h09] This Tuesday, December 21, 2021, marked the beginning of winter, the day with the least amount of sunlight, which was caused by the astronomical event of the winter solstice, this Tuesday at 4 pm, 59. minutes and 19.49 seconds (Paris time). From this “beginning” of Mother Nature, the days begin to extend in all hexagons … Summer solstice, June 21, when the long day takes place.

Madame Météo has chosen to mark this date by proposing frost temperatures, a sign that winter 2021 is coming with its first (major) frosts: up to -5 degrees Celsius in the Grand Est or Rh -ne-Alps and not above 5 C. Maximum degrees in most parts of the north-east of the country. In Britain, the temperature does not rise above 8 degrees, which is enough to turn December 21, 2021 into a winter solstice of 15 years, says Météo France’s meteorologist. Franசois Jopart on his Twitter account.

Winter solstice, so similar to the short day of the year and the long night, has many meanings. In “Christmas : Such a long story“Historians Alain Capandus (Paris-I) and Franுவாois Walter (University of Geneva) consider a winter solstice to be the birth of the” undefeated sun “, where daylight begins to rise again. The “real” justice found becomes the day of the sun’s birth.

Is less popular than winter solstice Winter sales, This is no reason not to be interested in how it works. This winter, our hemisphere will receive mainly grazing rays with low heat effect and the North Pole itself will be plunged into darkness! At the same time, summer begins in the Southern Hemisphere, and the sun is at its peak above the Cancer Zone (each time).

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During the winter solstice, the position of the earth relative to the sun reaches its maximum slope. Results : The sun as seen from our planet is at its southern point (the southern point corresponding to the horizon), the sunlight being as short as possible. When Summer solstice, It is the opposite. The sun is very northerly and we live the longest day of the year marking the arrival of summer. Not to be confused with UttarayanaFall Or from Spring, Night and day have the same duration …

Scientifically, the winter solstice corresponds to the time of year when the Sun’s orbit from Earth reaches its southern (northern hemisphere) or northern (southern hemisphere) maximum. In other words, in our latitudes, During the winter solstice, the sun rises only 18 above the horizon (during the summer solstice it is visible at an altitude of 65,, always relative to the horizon). It is the day when the inequality of day and night is maximum, with maximum night in the northern hemisphere and maximum day in the southern hemisphere (actually inhabits the summer solstice). The map below will help you better visualize the event of the winter solstice (mentioned here on the right):

The winter solstice is shown on the right. © Peter Hermes Furian / 123RF

Institute of Celestial Mechanics and Epimeris Computing (IMCCE) Provides the exact date and time of the winter solstice each year. By 2021, according to observations and calculations, So the winter solstice starts this Tuesday 21st December global time (UTC) “3:59 pm 19.49 seconds” or 4:59 pm 19.49 seconds Paris time.

But how does the Paris Observatory calculate the incidence of solstices currently estimated up to 2999? In scientific terms, the dates of the seasons are determined from the “Earth’s equatorial apparent longitude”: “The winter solstice corresponds to the moment when the Sun’s equatorial equatorial equator is 270”, according to the IMCCE. Site. The “equatorial equator” is the apparent distance from the Sun when viewed from Earth.

Most brilliantly, in our current Gregorian calendar (which is a solar calendar), the winter solstice is likely to occur on December 20, 21, 22 or 23. And most often on December 21st or 22nd. In our calendar, the length of the seasons varies over a large period of time: the dates of the seasons are not fixed, but the establishment of a solar calendar makes it possible to control their skid.

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The length of day and night depends on latitude and place of residence. Overall, on a winter solstice day, It is more than 8 p.m. in the Northern Hemisphere. Spread over almost two-thirds of the 24-hour cycle per night, i.e. 16 hours!

The event of Sankranti is the opposite of Uttarayana, the time when day and night are the same amount of time. Uttarayana is a time of year that marks the passing of the sun from one celestial hemisphere to another. On that day, the star goes to the summit of the Earth’s equator (in other words, the point in the sky right above the equator). Sankranti is the opposite of Uttarayana. This does not mean equal time between day and night, but minimum (winter) or maximum (summer) daylight. And sometimes extreme: all night at the North Pole and all day at the South Pole! In the northern hemisphere, the spring solstice occurs in March and the autumn solstice occurs in September, followed by June (summer solstice) and December (winter solstice side). In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the other way around! But solstices and solstices have one thing in common: Traditionally, solstice and solstice dates vary from one season to the next.

The date of the winter solstice marks the beginning of the astronomical winter, and it is a criterion for defining the highlights and seasons of the calendar. So Sankrantis are celebrated by many civilizations from ancient Egypt to Christian communities. In Europe, for example, we observe celebration Christmas Within a few hours, the Northern Hemisphere corresponds to the time of year when winter enters. In “Christmas : Such a long history “, historians Alain Capandus (Paris-I) and Franுவாois Walter (University of Geneva) consider a winter solstice to be the birthday of the” undefeated sun “where daylight is for the authors, as the solstice actually bears a” cosmic identity “among Christians: it The “true” sign of Christ for them is when the sun of righteousness is born.
Truth be told, Christendom relied on a pagan festival long before we celebrated our coming into the world. Christ. Christmas derives its etymology from Latin Birthday (Birthday), which appointed the moment when the days in the West would recur.

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Similar to the pagan feast inspired by Christians These celebrations are in memory of the Roman god of Saturnalia, Sowing and Fertility : Sat. The ceremonies performed in ancient Rome then spread over seven days from December 17 to 24. The Romans gathered with family or friends, among plants and garlands, and gave each other figurines made of bread or terracotta. The clothing of the poor and slaves replaced the usual toga. When Julius Caesar Lunar Calendar Reform, The Calendar The sun “Julian” changes it. Also the winter solstice is set for December 25th (which will take place on the 21st or 22nd!). The spirit of the celebration really lingers and passes over time. If you say there is a reason to be happy …

Today, we rarely celebrate the winter solstice. As Slate explains, Christmas was introduced on December 25th, which actually contributed to the disappearance of some pagan rituals that traditionally took place in the same month. Yule Party, Which marked the winter solstice among the German people, hence the arrival of this winter. From the winter solstice, as the days begin to lengthen, this celebration was a festival of light. People who still celebrate the festival of Yule today, light candles, light fires, collect items from nature, make garlands, and present gifts, often by hand.

Here are the exact dates and times of the next changes of the season, from Paris to winter in the coming years, until 2026:

  • December 21, 2022 at 10:48 p.m.
  • December 22, 2023 at 4:27 p.m.
  • December 21, 2024 at 10:20 p.m.
  • December 21, 2025 at 4:03 p.m.
  • December 21, 2026 at 9:50 p.m.

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