Did You Know? The Winter Solstice

By Mara Gordon

Season’s Greetings, Explore & More friends! Did you know that every year, there is a winter solstice, the shortest day of the year? On December 21st, 2023, the planet will be tilted as far away from the sun as possible, with the fewest hours of daylight. After the winter solstice, days become longer and nights shorter as spring approaches.

Humans may have observed the winter solstice as early as the Neolithic period or the last part of the Stone Age. Neolithic monuments, such as Newgrange in Ireland and Maeshowe in Scotland, align with sunrise on the winter solstice.

On the winter solstice day, try standing outside at noon and looking at your shadow. It’s the longest shadow you will cast for the year! If you do this again on the summer solstice day, there will be almost no shadow. The winter solstice is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the return of sunlight by using candles, lanterns, or LED lights to make the world bright & warm in the darkness.

Explore & More will be staying warm and bright during this winter season by hosting several holiday events throughout December, with three classes of “Holidays around the World: Cookie Decorating”, a “Cookies & Cocoa with Santa” event on December 23rd, and a Countdown to Noon on December 31st. We hope to see you and your family celebrating with us at the museum!

Sources
“Winter Solstice – Date, Definition & Traditions.” Edited by History.com Editors, History.Com, A&E

Television Networks, December 4th, 2023, www.history.com/topics/natural-disasters-and-
environment/winter-solstice.

We are open for play today from 10am-3:30pm!