Today is the Winter Solstice

Today marks the Northern Hemisphere’s Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. It doesn’t officially begin until 6:03 p.m. Easter Time, 3:03 on the West Coast. Sunrise was at 6:48 a.m. this morning and sunset takes place at 4:47 p.m.

From now until June 21, 2015, the days will start to get longer; sunrises will be earlier and sunsets will get later, until the Northern Hemisphere is pointed at its closest distance to the sun for the Summer Solstice — June 21, 2015.

Some people will celebrate the holiday of Yule, the rebirth of the sun. Most people won’t partake in a weeklong celebration like that of Saturnalia in Ancient Roman times, but people around the world will mark this occasion with feasts.

This is also the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere where, in most parts of this nation, people will endure a winter filled with snow, ice storms and sub-freezing temperatures.

The next seasonal calendar celebration will be the Spring Equinox, March 20, 2015, in which the day and night are both twelve hours long.

Happy Winter Solstice from the Baltimore Post-Examiner.