The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year; it marks the time where the Earth is tilted farthest on its axis. On Wednesday, thousands of people gather at the historical Stonehenge site dressed in medieval clothing, drinking from bull horns, and celebrating the shortest day of the year. This year nearly 5,000 were recorded at the historical site observing the sun rising and setting between two pillars at Stonehenge. But what exactly does this celebration mean for those who celebrate Christmas?

Sunlight and festivities

In many ancient cultures, most of their activity went with the sun, and the seasons, this would entail harvesting crops, gathering supplies, and even allocating seasonal resources like fish only the summer. In fact when it comes to the celebrations at Stonehenge, it marks the point of the year where the northern portion of the hemisphere on the Earth sees longer days, but less warmth so that's why it was seen as the winter solstice, whereas the southern portion sees more warmth and more daylight which meant it was their summer.

It was also during wintertime that many animals on the farms during ancient times were killed so that food wasn't scarce during the winter and that more would be made in the spring and summer of the next year.

The solstice marks the beginning of the New Year, in which many Pagans celebrate Yule, a tradition of celebrating and welcoming the new year. It hosts twelve days of celebrations and festivities; Christmas is also with accordance to Yule, but it is only celebrated on one day compared to twelve days.

In fact with the celebration of Yule, the burning of the Yule log is to welcome the rebirth of the new year. Yet while Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birth, our Yule log is nothing but a desert platter that would ash easily in the fire.

After Winter Solstice

After the solstice, the light in the north of the hemisphere would be increased within the northern portion of your hemisphere based on where you are located.

But when it came to the solstice, many people further north like in Alaska or Canada or other northern states would have seen less sunlight and night quickly approaching. However, if you live in the south of the United States, such as Florida, Texas, and the southern portion of California, your daylight hours may increase and could be a little longer. Happy Yule, Merry Christmas, and welcome to the New Year.

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