The December solstice will occur at 12:30 am Eastern Standard Time on December 22, 2011. It is also known as the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere due to the seasonal differences.
The date varies from December 20 to December 23 depending on the year in the Gregorian calendar.
The December solstice occurs when the sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees. In other words, it is when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun. Depending on the Gregorian calendar, the December solstice occurs annually on a day between December 20 and December 23. On this date, all places above a latitude of 66.5 degrees north are now in darkness, while locations below a latitude of 66.5 degrees south receive 24 hours of daylight
What we see here in North Carolina, and anywhere above the equator, is that the sun rises at it’s southernmost point on the horizon on this date and the hours of daylight are their shortest. However if you live below the equator the sun will be at it’s northern most point on the horizon and the day will be the longest and they call this the Summer Solstice!
Winter Solstice Hike
Reedy Creek Nature Center
6pm to 7pm
2900 Rocky River Road, Charlotte
Celebrate the winter solstice immersed in nature. Enjoy a moderately paced hike taking in the crisp winter air on the shortest day of the year. Participants must be able to hike 3-4 miles on uneven terrain. A limited number of flashlights are available, so bring your own if you can. Ages 5 and up. Free.
This is not a WOW event. To register, go to www.meetup.com/CLTParents/events/39935002/
The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice, Wendy Pfeffer.
Make a paper mache lantern and go out for a lantern walk. For instructions on how to make a lantern, go to:
Celebrate the Solstice:
It’s no wonder that lights are part of every winter celebration. Twinkling against the backdrop of winter’s darker days, they stand out as festive and cheery, especially on the longest night of the year – the winter solstice, December 22. Marking this day with a simple celebration of light is not only a nice way to teach your kids about the seasons, but it can also be a calming break from the hectic holiday pace.
Keep your celebration down to earth – a candlelit dinner or trip into the backyard to stargaze is ideal. But to really banish the darkness, set aside an hour or so to make luminarias – decorative paper bags filled with sand and small candles. To make one, decorate a brown paper lunch bag by tracing a simple pattern in pencil on the side, then punching out your design with a hole punch. Fill each luminaria with about two inches of sand and sink a votive candle or tea light in the center Place the luminarias along a walk, patio or deck, light them (a grown-up’s job) and bask in the glow.
Another interesting link with more information about the solstice: http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/december-solstice.html
Hope you enjoy this special date!