But what does Winter solstice mean?
The sun is at the end of its journey Southward and after the Winter solstice will begin it’s reverse journey Northwards, meaning that each day will have few moments more daylight! Good news, especially for those who start work early in the mornings. On average the UK gains a little over a minute of daylight each day until June.
Solstice means either of the two times each year when the sun reaches its most Northerly or Southerly stage of its travels and is highest or lowest in the sky at noon. The longest day, the Summer solstice is known as the longest day because darkness doesn’t fall until the late evening, those of us with children will know how odd it seems to expect them to go to bed in broad daylight!
Here in Somerset,we see the gathering of many people at Stonehenge,as it is one of two days a year that the stones are aloud to be touched.Sunrise is of greatest significance as that is when the sun aligns with the main stone.
When our Winter solstice occurs those people living in the Southern hemisphere experience the reverse effect, it is presently high summer in Australia for example.
The Winter solstice is a signal to gardeners that it is time to prepare for Spring as the ground will grow very slightly warmer with each day. Spring is on the way! True enough Winter still has plenty of time to run with snow, ice and rain aplenty so wrap up warm and think of sunny days to come, whilst planning your gardening regime, buying seed and cleaning tools.
In addition to the Summer and Winter solstices we experience two equinoxes, ‘equal nights’, occurring in Spring and Autumn, March 21st and September 21st approximately – the dates do vary slightly, and these herald the changing seasons.
The seasons are precious to us, the variety of seasonal changes in Britain are what give us our green and pleasant land. It is said that our climate is changing, and we can expect warmer and more extreme weather conditions in the future, unless changes are made. Food for thought?
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