Special Post: Winter Solstice and Halcyon Days

12:30 a.m. Thursday, December 22. The winter solstice  is the time of the year when the sun is at its lowest point as it arcs across the sky. This point varies according to where you are located on the globe. Scientifically, the value of that angle is listed at 23 1/2 degrees south of the celestial equator (the plane of the earth’s equator projected into space.)

The winter solstice is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight, and so the most hours of night.

Halcyon days, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, refers to the two weeks of relatively calm weather that sometimes follows the final blustery winds of autumn’s end. The name comes from the Ancient Greeks and Romans, who named it for the halcyon, a bird believed to be similar to our kingfisher. This bird nests on the water at this time of year, and was said to have charmed the wind so that the waters were calm during its nesting time, one week before the winter solstice and one week after.

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