A Winter Solstice Ritual For Reflection & Release

Winter solstice 2017 Five things you should know about the shortest day of the year

But here are some fascinating facts about the magical time of the winter solstice that you may not know. We will only have nine hours and 26 minutes of total daylight.

The winter solstice, which marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, will happen at 11:28 a.m.

This astronomical phenomena, also known as midwinter, is the exact moment when the sun's most direct rays get to their southernmost point south of the equator.

Starting Friday, the sun will be up for a few seconds longer each day, signalling the start of our slow but steady march toward spring.

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Legend has it that the early Druids celebrated the longest and shortest days of the year with a trip to Stonehenge.

As Google points out, the winter solstice is technically a single moment "when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn".

Here's a wonderful time-lapse video of the winter solstice in Fairbanks, Alaska, which gets just about three hours and 41 minutes of daylight at this time.

Although the pagan celebrations of Yule and the Winter Solstice are from Scandanavian and Germanic cultures, Scotland has it's own history with the shortest day.

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The Southern Hemisphere, meanwhile, is celebrating the summer solstice, or the longest day of the year, on December 21. Both maps include different time zones and latitudes, which are marked in different colors.

The first map shows the time of the sunrise in North America.

In India, where there is only Indian Standard Time (IST), sunset again varies slightly depending on where you live according to other factors. However, states like Florida and Texas will see the sunset after 5:30 p.m. during the winter solstice day.

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