Talk:Winter solstice

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I thought the tilt was about 23.5 deg, not 25.5 deg....? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:46, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

That's correct. The obliquity of the ecliptic is 23.5 deg. Zaphod90125 (talk) 13:44, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

{{as honored Winter Solstice as the 'First Day of Winter' with a doodle. And there seems to be some spammy comment right at the top of the article. (something about 'naveenraj' and 'Goru')

Date and Time of the Solstice at any particular lat/longitude?[edit]

Is this correct: Direct observation of the solstice by amateurs is difficult because the sun moves too slowly at either solstice to determine its specific day, let alone its instant.[citation needed] I deleted it because I thought it was wrong (since reversed), since you always see precise times and dates. The paragraph says the day can be off by 2-3 days even. I've posted the question on an astronomy page. juanTamad 03:07, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes, this is correct, see my comments in the section I started to discuss this. No particular lat/longitude has anything to do with this. The daily changes in the Sun's declination are great near the equinoxes but slow and appear to stop for days near the solstices. Senor Cuete (talk) 19:22, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

That sounds like a quote from Meeus. If so, should you put the text in quotes? Senor Cuete (talk) 16:25, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

I don't think it's a direct quote. It's from this site, where I posted the question: When I first read it, I was struck by the statement that is was not impossible to know the exact time at a given latlong since you always see detailed tables of the time of event. So I just thought starting it off with a statement that it is possible to calculate is better wordsmithing. I found the book by following the link from the earthsky response to my question. Appears to be a recent authoritative source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jtamad (talkcontribs) 01:01, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
The solstices and equinoxes occur at a TIME and AGAIN, SOME PARTICULAR LAT/LONG HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. THE TIME IS THE SAME FOR OBSERVERS AT ANY LAT/LONG. Yes, it is possible to calculate this with good accuracy, using the algorithms found in Meeus. The methods used in chapter 27 pages 177 - 182 are not a difficult programming challenge. They don't use the observer's location, only the year. BUT it's still impossible for amateurs to find the time of the solstices accurately with their observations. However they can obtain approximate results using interpolation. Senor Cuete (talk) 02:46, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Regarding the link to the on-line copy of Meeus: Willman-Bell has been working to remove illegal copies of Meeus' book from the internet. Senor Cuete (talk) 20:19, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Novo Hel[edit]

Novo Hel? I can't find any real basis for this except at Neopagan websites that don't site sources earlier than the 1990s. MaryJones 03:59, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Germanic paganism[edit]

Right now a bunch of very closely related Germanic Winter-related holidays are spread out all over this list. Not only this but it's hardly wikitized. I've tried to categorize these together cohesively - it's basically the same thing being stated over and over again - but it was reverted as being 'arbitrary' by an anonymous IP, then blanketed with small corrections. Huh? :bloodofox: 11:19, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

"DECEMBER Solstice" rather than "Winter solstice"?[edit]

Hemispherical Chauvanism? Modern astronomical convention has changed from using the term Winter Solstice to the now preferred "December Solstice" since the December solstice is the winter one for folks north of the tropics yet the same December one is the SUMMER Solstice for folks south of the tropics.

These articles seem to be more about folk calendar customs related to the Solstice associated with winter but we must remember that the "winter" themes originating in the astronomical event would properly be associated with the JUNE Solstice were you living in the South Temperate Zone.

Disagree. The majority of the article relates to feasts, events, traditions associated with the darkest day of the year i.e. the winter solstice. The bias is perhaps in that they almost all originate in the northern hemisphere, but the appropriate solution would be to find more info on midwinter june events from the southern hemisphere, rather than mixing summer and winter celebrations just because they take place in December.

"Date" section: overkill for a "Winter Solstice" article.[edit]

This section, albeit very detailed and interesting, seems way too much info for an article about calendar customs relating to (just) the "winter" solstice. All that date-fixing history and comparative calendar stuff belongs on other articles, not here. It should be noted that the material and illustrations about the creeping-date issue is equally true for the December Solstice, March Equinox, June Solstice, and September Equinoxes as well. NOV21,2007 Earrach

Darkest morning/evening[edit]

Is it true that the darkest evening (i.e. the day on which the sun sets the earliest) occurs before the Solstice, and the darkest morning occurs after the Solstice? Why is this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it is true. There is a good discussion of this in the article analemma. Rwflammang (talk) 23:30, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
I came to the article expecting to see something about this. As there was nothing in it, have just added a short sentence linking to the Analemma discussion - thanks for the link Rwflammang :) Robert Walker (talk) 20:10, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

BC vs BCE controversy[edit]

This is an old issue so lets be careful not to make the same old mistakes. Check the second edit ever made to this artical as of april 7th 2007. there are both BC and BCE annotation present in the article. The BC is only present under "christmas", BCE present under "lenaia" and CE present under Midvinterblót and Modranicht. This article from its original text was mixed annotation, the majority of which was CE/BCE. All further additions of Years to the Article each originally included CE/BCE. The Christmas section has been the only BC annotation. Removing CE leaving only the #s makes sense to me because it is unbiased and doesn't cause any confusion. But replacing BCE with BC is POV. That is why I have reverted those specific edits by on a side note the "Date fixes" made by, Changing dates like "December 21st and 22nd" to "December 21 and December 22" don't seem like "fixes" to me. (talk) 18:39, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Just a thought on this one - the edit history started long before April 7th. As I recall, this article was orginally called Winter Solstice celebrations or something like that. It was renamed on April 7th. Maybe you should check back further. (talk) 10:40, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
OK we'll be sticklers just to be thorough. Its the same. Here is the first "Winter solstice celebration" post that uses Year annotation, befor this post no year annotation had been used in any prior versian of the article (19:51, 2007 February 11). Again Lenaia and Modresnach use CE/BCE and Christmas alone uses BC. Wowzers, there you have it. Mixed annotation in a single post. Play it as it lay, folks. (talk) 22:13, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
The issue of who did what first is secondary to to matter of consistency within the article. The MOS states that either format is acceptable (incidentally, BCE -> BC is no more POV that BC--> BCE would be) but don't mix them within an article. This article does mix them, so I'll alter it. Question is, to which format? BCE is used most in the article, but not many people know what it means so I'll defer to BC. I agree that CE shouldn't be used at all, given that a linked year is self explanatory, e.g. 1776 rather than AD 1776 or 1776 CE. Accordingly I'll change the article to use BC, given that in Wikipedia we should make the text as understandable as possible to as many people as possible. (talk) 11:53, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Your BCE>>BC argument is not supported by MOS. If the entire article uses BCE/CE save one instance then if anything you should default to BCE. You again are veneering your POV editing with a thin facade of unfounded reasons. (Before, your reasons were that it was BC first, but once that was proven wrong you came up with this?) I am reverting your edit for the third time. Can someone else way in on this issue? (talk) 01:03, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
What a laugh! I'm the person who made the original move ( and now someone else has "wayed in" with what are sensible comments. Get your facts right mate! Seems like you've already screwed up over not checking all the edit history and now you've done it again. You should realise that lots of IPs begin with 8. As for BC and BCE I couldn't care less any more on this article but if someone else wants to come in and revert your latest stupid modification then that's fine by me, and no doubt would be supported by the silent majority. (talk) 17:19, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Article Picture[edit]

I'm kind of OCD about pictures, so forgive me for not critiquing something of greater importance, but a picture of random logs burning to me does not signify anything about the winter soltice. The caption is creative, but that has no relevance to the article.

The image is in a holiday-infobox template. The purpose of holiday infoboxes is to acknowledge the cultural observance and celebratory aspects of an event. Having fires seems to be common,,, (talk) 22:26, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Observance length[edit]

I suggest we try to condense (not strip) info in each observance section down to 200 words or if applicable, split parts off into different observance subsections, each being no more than 100 words. (talk) 17:33, 27 December 2007 (UTC)


There is no mention of the Julleuchter (Yule Candlestick or Yule Lantern) that is used during the Winter Solstice. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nicholasweed (talkcontribs) 07:47, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Thats because basically no one uses it or has even heard of it. It is not appropriate to this article, as it is nothing more than an outdated insignificant nazi product, which I can assert without hesitation, that you are trying to use wikipedia to sell it. (talk) 20:55, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I’m not just using Wikipedia to sell it. I was trying to post information I had about the item. It does have to do with the Winter Solstice because it is a centuries old pagan item and not just a “nazi product.” There are Neopagan individuals use the lantern.ref name=PURYEARASATRU>Puryear, Mark. The Nature of Asatru: An Overview of the Ideals and Philosophy of the Indigenous Religion of Northern Europe (2006) ISBN 978-0595389643

17:43, 16 January 2008


Call me crazy, but a picture of a fire doesn't seem exactly appropriate for the winter solstice. Perhaps a better picture would be one of the little illustrations from the main solstice page? QuidProQuo23 15:08, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Potential Page Split[edit]

The section on this page that is referring to Midwinter Celebrations should be moved to Midwinter, since Midsummer consists solely of articles referring to Midsummer Celebrations, thus keeping a balance between Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice. At the moment, this article is the winter equivalent of having merged the two articles Solstice and Midsummer together. What does the community think?   Set Sail For The Seven Seas  161° 30' 00" NET   10:46, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Disagree recognizing the appeal of literary symmetry between articles that such a move would make. However, if the page was split, winter solstice would be turned back into a redirect page to solstice. A singular article best describes the astronomical event with the history of human observance of that event. This article shows how the perceivable effects of the solstice of winter are reflected in the themes and rituals of the observances. (ie: sun returning rituals and myths) "midwinter" is not a recognized holiday unlike the western Midsummer and so in this case is used as a period descriptor rather than a recognized action in and of itself. Midwinter in this context is temporally coincident with "winter solstice" and thus a name change to "midwinter" would be another option, but even then it is not common or causally significant so it would be a more obscure and amorphous subject.Some thing (talk) 20:46, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Ancient Winter Solstice[edit]

Does anyone know anything about how the Winter Solstice was celebrated in Ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece? If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated! unsigned comment was left by 2009-12-02T14:15:56 (talk)

The Egyptians had rebirth rituals centering around Isis and Osiris and many winter solstice as well as vernal equinox rituals are supposedly influenced by this myth; however, the Egyptians had three seasons and timed the planting of crops by the flooding of the Nile, not the quarter days. according to a historian in classical Greece that i read (the name escapes me but it was on jstor) they mention the main wintertime egyptian festival was not solstitialy based. this is not to say that the winter solstice wasn't observed, just not celebrated. The Greek festivals were numerous and obscure but there was Chronia, and Lenæa may have been one. Roman festivals most of which descended from greek festivals, were (in chronological order), Brumalia , Saturnalia, Sol Invictus, and finally Natalis Domini(Christmas). they are all mentioned in the article. please dont leave hidden exclamations in your talk page comments.Some thing (talk) 16:52, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
The Greeks didn't seem to celebrate the winter solstice. They had a small festival for the summer solstice called the Promentheia, but not too much was known about that other than there were torch races. The Athenians also marked their New Year in the summer (it was the first day with a sliver of waxing moon after the Solstice) I removed the sentence that stated: "In Greek mythology, the gods and goddesses met on the winter and summer solstice, and Hades is permitted to enter Mount Olympus (his domain is the underworld so he of course does not get accepted any other time)" because there is nothing that even hints at such a thing in Greek mythology and there is much that points in the opposite direction. It sounds like something from a Percy Jackson book. CaraSchulz (talk) 00:34, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Always curious. Have all Solstices been observed by Ancient peoples?[edit]

Have all Solstices Winter,Spring, Fall, Summer been observed by Ancient peoples? Sulungbulung (talk) 02:26, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

There are only two Solstices, Winter and Summer. The other two are Equinoxes. Also, they have been celebrated for a very long time. See Solstice for more. Hope this helps.   Set Sail For The Seven Seas  194° 44' 15" NET   12:58, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
No. Modern Americans and Europeans don't celebrate the solstice. The ancient Greeks did not. The ancient Romans did not. (No, brumalia does not count; it was celebrated in November.) Rwflammang (talk) 23:34, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
I would say that modern Americans and Europeans do celebrate the winter solstice but it has gradually merged and become known as Christmas. The summer solstice does seem to be ignored and has lost any significance. Mtpaley (talk) 02:32, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
The Romans didnt celebrate the winter solstice? You've obviously never heard of Sol Invictus then. Fig (talk) 13:01, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
I had long suspected it, but I am glad it has been clarified here: "Modern Americans are an Ancient peoples" (not my capitalization). ChrisJBenson (talk) 16:59, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Try finding a parking place near Stonehenge on the summer solstice. Some people do celebrate it. A lot of them. It simply has no commercial relationship. —EncMstr (talk) 06:29, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

The diagram of the Goseck circle[edit]

The diagram of the Goseck circle describes the two southern entrances as indicating the rise and set of sun at the winter soltice whereas the linked wikipedia article about the Goseck circle says that these entrances mark the sun's position at the summer and winter solstices. This discrepancy needs to be resolved. (talk) Moved from article by Thesevenseas (talk) 19:34, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

the image file says in german: "Sonnenobservatorium von Goseck. Aufsicht mit Darstellung von Sonnenauf- und untergang zur Wintersonnende". loosely translated: "Solar Observatory of Goseck. Supervision with representation of sunrise and sunset for Winter solstice." this does not jive with the discovery section. i am moving this discussion to the goseck circle talk page99.140.187.120 (talk) 17:46, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

relative to which pole?[edit]

Unless the article is written for North Americans, and not Australians ( en meaning English language)

opening quote 2010-03-02

"The Winter Solstice occurs exactly when the earth's axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26'."

This is true if you think of the "north pole" with an axial vector pointing away - but it occurs near perihelion!

Can we not do better than this? Why is the angle here?

Compare our article on summer solstice:

"The Summer Solstice occurs exactly when the earth's axial tilt is closest to the sun at its maximum of 23° 26'."

What does "closest" mean here? Are we thinking of the arrowhead of a vector through the axis? Draw in which direction?

Are not the angles quoted in both articles the same (and the angle is relative to the year and is currently closer to 23.44 (according to THAT article at Axial tilt )?

We have articles on axial precession and perihelion precession:

 Axial precession (astronomy)
 Perihelion precession

Can we not approach the quality of those articles and still be understood by the general reader? Ask the man on the street in USA: "winter is when the earth is furthest from the sun, right?" (this year perihelion was Jan 3, was it not?)

The "man on the street in USA" may well agree with that first part. But he'd be wrong. The USA is entirely within the Northern Hemisphere, so when the earth is closest to the sun, it is winter time in the USA. Their nearest approach in the last twelve months was on January 2, 2013. The minimum within the sliding year will shortly become January 4, 2014, when the Earth will be about 5 million kilometres (just over 3 million miles) closer to the sun than it was on July 5, 2013. But of course this has nothing at all to do with the winter solstice or even winter. ChrisJBenson (talk) 23:24, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
I too have been disturbed by this language for two or three solstices now, so I have updated the language in a way that is pole/hemisphere-neutral. This involved removal of the mention of the degree of axial tilt. Axial tilt is required for there to be solstices, but how much is not relevant: it could be any angle. My changes also included the addition of a mention of gyroscopic effects, which combined with orbital motion cause solstices. Cantorman (talk) 22:28, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

The article on the Ecliptic states

As the rotational axis of the Earth is not perpendicular to its orbital plane, the equatorial plane is not parallel to the ecliptic plane, but makes an angle of about 23°26', which is known as the obliquity of the ecliptic.

whereas the article referenced for obliquity states

  Earth's axial tilt is 23.44

and also

  The Earth currently has an axial tilt of about 23.5°

Here again, a gif with motion might go a long ways. G. Robert Shiplett 23:43, 3 March 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Grshiplett (talkcontribs)

This line is not meant to be relative to a particular pole. It applies to both poles as you can think of the "south pole" with an axial vector pointing away. The angle is here because it includes the defining point of the solstices. Also, the perihelion is when the earth is closest to the sun, not furthest. The effect of apsidal precession on the seasons in minimal as the orbital eccentricity of the earth is currently 0.0167 meaning that the Earth's orbit is almost circular. Hope this helps. Set Sail For The Seven Seas 13° 9' 45" NET 00:52, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
There were several mathematical and arithmetic errors in this article, but the axial tilt (since removed) wasn't among them. It should be obvious to all that 23.44° here does not mean 23.4400000000000000...°. To the nearest minute, that is equal to 23°26' and using coarser granularity such as 10 minutes, that is equal to 23.5°. If you want mathematical errors, you don't have to go past the second sentence. You could also call it an error in basic English. Even in mathematical texts, you'd use the word "lower" when comparing necessarily strictly positive numbers - not "most negative" about a positive number. Normal English resumes shortly afterwards with the use of "higher" to characterize latitude. ChrisJBenson (talk) 23:00, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

can anyone change the 2012 winter solstice time?[edit]

its 11:12 and not 11:11.check the ref. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Manchurian candidate (talkcontribs) 09:59, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

I tried but I have no idea where that table comes from on the article page. I can't seem to find it anywhere in the page source. Mbarbier (talk) 16:34, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Still a problem, plus the reference is now dead. Can't get in to correct it. In fact can't find any reference to this table in the code. <sigh>. Will learn what I'm apparently missing until I can find the original table and fix this... @brian --bri (talk) 21:02, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
OK, done. Edit area for all those infoboxes is in templates below, btw. This template is in use for other articles. @brian --bri (talk) 21:41, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
The reference is now linked but the table is still incorrect. Using the algorithms of Meeus I calculate the time of the solstice as 11:12:55 UT. Senor Cuete (talk) 21:37, 10 April 2012 (UTC)Senor Cuete
Fixed the template Senor Cuete (talk) 21:47, 10 April 2012 (UTC)Senor Cuete

Wayeb' section[edit]

The Haab' is a 365 day year of 18 months of 20 days with five unlucky days of Wayeb'at the end of the year. There was no adjustment for the fact that the tropical year is actually 365.2422 days so the Haab' moved about one day each four years relative to the tropical year. In other words the Haab' was not a solar calendar and it has exactly nothing to do with the winter solstice. The calendar Round is not the coincidence of the three Maya calendars. It is a combination of the 260 Tzolk'in and the 365 day Haab. The same calendar Round date re-occurs every 18,980 days or 51.9641 solar years. This is independent of the third calendar, the Long Count and it has exactly zero correlation to the solar year or solstice. Similarly, the Long Count is simply a count of days since the start of the current creation and it has nothing to do with the solar year. A calendar round completion occurs on the same calendar round as the the one on the first day of the current creation - 4 Ahau, 8 Cumku, not on the unlucky days of Wayeb' and it has exactly nothing to do with the solstice. The next calendar round completion will occur on March 11, 2032, not on the solstice and not in 2012. A Bak'tun completion will occur in 2012. The calendar that was kept by the Maya until the present day was not the Haab' it was the 260 day Tzolk'in and it has no relationship to the solar year. Everything that this section says about the Maya calendar is absolutely wrong. No part of the Maya calendar is correlated to the solar year and no part of the Maya calendar is related to the solstice, so this complete travesty is irrelevant to the subject of the winter solstice. I'm going to remove it. The Wikipedia articles about the Maya calendar, Long Count and Calendar Round are good. Senor Cuete (talk) 17:54, 5 May 2010 (UTC)Senor cuete

respecting the expertise of your edit, i question the statement "In other words the Haab' was not a solar calendar and it has exactly nothing to do with the winter solstice." considering you also state that "The Wikipedia articles about the Maya calendar... are good."
This is quoted from the Maya Calendar article:
"The Haab' was the Maya solar calendar made up of eighteen months of twenty days each plus a period of five days ("nameless days") at the end of the year known as Wayeb' (or Uayeb in 16th C. orthography). Bricker (1982) estimates that the Haab' was first used around 550 BC with a starting point of the winter solstice."
This suggests that the wayeb originally occurred following the winter solstice, and thus was "directly linked to the winter solstice" as fitting the parameters for inclusion in the Observances section. Plenty of observances listed in the section do not occur on the winter solstice, but did at their genesis. If you believe that Bricker's research is questionable, then perhaps it should not be included on the Mayan Calendar page. (talk) 13:45, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

date section[edit]

All that information is well and good, but are the dates for the winter solstice in the different hemispheres? Seems like a pretty big omission to me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:11, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

The dates for the Winter Solstice are included in the first paragraph. Hope this helps. Set Sail For The Seven Seas 328° 35' 45" NET 21:54, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved for obvious reasons below.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 06:58, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Winter solsticeWinter Solstice — Relisting  Ronhjones  (Talk) 00:18, 13 August 2010 (UTC) The capitalisation of "Solstice" is correct and is used consistently throughout the article. McLerristarr (Mclay1) (talk) 13:12, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose. "Winter", "solstice", and "winter solstice" are all common nouns and should only be capitalized when they start a sentence, or if they are used as the title of a work. Powers T 17:16, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Then it needs changing in the article and Summer solstice. McLerristarr (Mclay1) (talk) 01:10, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
I've already gone through this article and made the appropriate corrections, although I may have missed a couple. I'll check Summer solstice when I get chance, but feel free to beat me to it. Powers T 01:46, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
I've beat you to it. [1]. And Oppose, of course. No such user (talk) 08:26, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose my own requested move. The capitalisation has been standardised as lower case. McLerristarr (Mclay1) (talk) 04:32, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Early close of requested move[edit]

Sorry, I got too pumped up and moved away from the backlog into the still running move requests. Actually this request should not have been closed until 23:59 today (educated guess). I'm willing to relist it just to give it the 7 normal days, but I do not believe that's necessary. jonkerz 07:02, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

I do not know whether the move should be made. It was spelt "Winter Solstice" consistently in the article until someone changed it. According to WP:MOS it should be "winter solstice" but according to MOS:CAPS it should be capitalised. I changed the WP:MOS to be consistent with MOS:CAPS but my change was reverted. Now, I've changed MOS:CAPS to be consistent with WP:MOS. Either way, we need consistency. McLerristarr (Mclay1) (talk) 07:27, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I reverter the close, as there is still time left on the original listing (let's hope the RM bot will figure it out). I guess a relisting is in place, since the move/non-move wasn't that obvious after all. jonkerz 07:53, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

the Winter Solstice December 21, 2010[edit]

What changes if any will occur due to the earths movement on its axle this past year.

All these weather conditions around the world are getting more and more gruesome. What if anything can we do to change this.

later, bronxbeauty 50 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

NPOV: Geocentric article[edit]

Articles about other planets refer here and to Summer solstice, including Swiss cheese features (Mars). This article is geocentric (okay, the other definition of geocentric), only discussing the winter solstice on Earth. Can we maybe have more of a general definition in the opener? Does it make sense to include information on winter solstices for other planets here?" samwaltz (talk) 20:45, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

This is an excellent point. But it is a very difficult one to approach. one thing to keep in mind is that this article is about a subject of both scientific/planetary and historical/religious/cultural significance, both impersonal and personal. so making any kind of transition of focus must be dealt with tactfully. i think it is worth mentioning the planetary definition in the intro within one sentence (maybe the first one), but since the vast majority of human experience with the solstice exists on earth, the article's subject base should remain relative to planet earth, at least for now. in the future, might i propose adjusting the outline format of the article without adjusting the bulk of information such that the article eventually achieves an interplanetary format. can you site more examples of information that can be included about the winter solstice of other planets?Some thing (talk) 17:03, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

December and June[edit]

I recently became aware of the existence of December Solstice and June Solstice. I rewrote them (you'll see) and copied most of the categories from Solstice and Summer solstice and Winter solstice, without giving much thought to whether they're all appropriate. Go weed 'em if you like. —Tamfang (talk) 21:46, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Solstice articles do not conform[edit]

Winter Solstice article presents far more religious material, whereas the Summer Solstice article is more technical. Even though the Winter Solstice may contain the same amount of scientific data, it would serve better that the scientific portions remain equivalent in appearance. -- Cflare (talk) 15:02, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Winter Solstice has more religious significance than Summer Solstice thereby warranting more religious content (assuming all appropriate scientific material is present as well). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:20, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Why was removed from the external links on the solstice page ?[edit]

Did you even bother to look ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:52, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Winter solstice asymmetry[edit]

In Montréal the earliest sunset is at 4:11 on Dec. 15 BUT the latest sunsrise is on Jan. 9, at 7:34. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:29, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Hanukkah inclusion?[edit]

From the section on Hanukkah:

"There is discussion if Hanukkah should be classified as a winter solstice holiday. The Jewish calendar is neither solar nor lunar in nature but exists as a tension between the two. As such, while the events that are commemorated by Hanukkah happened on or around the solstice, because of the use of the lunar calendar, Hanukkah is sometimes celebrated as early as late November."

I'm confused as to why Hanukkah is included in this list. Besides for the fact that it is usually celebrated around December, there doesn't seem to be much connection. No source is listed that I can see as to why it is included in observances the winter solstice and there is no mention of it on the Hanukkah page. Just because there "is discussion" though specifically where I don't know... does not mean this opinion should be included unless it is stated as something like "it is the opinion of XYZ that this can be classified as such" and with a credible source considering the opinion seems to be pretty obscure.

-A quick Google Scholar search found a few sources that mention the possibility of the source, but mostly included due to the time of year it is celebrated, and there wasn't much to be found within the results besides for the winter connection.

Basically, I think Hanukkah should be either deleted from the list, or clearly at the beginning classified as something of an obscure opinion with proper sources. Objections? Comments? Sources? Coffeegirlyme (talk) 08:02, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Obviously Jewish people in the southern hemisphere celebrate Hanukkah much closer to the summer solstice. HiLo48 (talk) 09:21, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Hanukkah is one of many, many faiths with rituals based on the winter solstice, lets try to stay unbiased by leaving it completely off the winter solstice page, with every other religion you insult by not mentioning by name.

I stopped reading when I reached how Hades "of course" was barred from ever entering Mount Olympus on any other day (than the summer solstice) when the discussion of Greek mythology starts because -- none of us are ancient Greeks, none of us knew it was common knowledge that Hades was never allowed to Mount Olympus on any other day. You don't want to sound like you're chiding the reader for not knowing that supposed trivial factoid. Dave 17:45, 5 November 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Davesilvan (talkcontribs)

Delete section on Amaterasu[edit]

I don't think there is any real evidence connecting the winter solstice with the Kojiki story of Amterasu hiding herself. The Japanese Wikipedia articles on Amaterasu and the Winter Solstice do not mention any connection.

According to the only source cited, the connection is no more that one of several possibilities. (And unlikely, since unlike a eclipse, the sun does not completely disappear at the solstice.) The internet page cites no sources for the connection and does not give the names of the 7th century winter solstice rites that were supposed to connect the two or tell in what sources they are referred to, so it cannot be considered a reliable source.

What is the basis of the claim that requiems or manzai or shishimai have anything to do with either the solstice or Amaterasu? The statement "Aspects of this tradition survive on New Years" destroys any credibility of its source, since the winter solstice was in the 11th month of the Japanese calendar, and of course New Year's Day was over a month later, so traditions of the two are unrelated.

Therefore, I think this section should be deleted, and I will probably delete it sometime unless someone can come up with some dependable sources.Stone-turner (talk) 12:36, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Long list of dubiously relevant holidays[edit]

Someone mentioned Hannukah above, but it's not just Hannukah is it? The link between Brumalia and the solstice is pretty tenuous. Actually the link between most of the holidays mentioned and the solstice seems pretty tenuous. Seems to me this article is Christianocentric. Just because there is a link between Christmas and the solstice, it does not follow that all religions and cultures base the dates of their winter festivals are on the same astronomical concerns. Perhaps this list belongs in a Winter Holidays article? I'm not at all convinced that it belongs here. Rwflammang (talk) 23:43, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

It doesn't even belong in a Winter Holidays article for those of us in the southern hemisphere. Akld guy (talk) 10:32, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Confusing lead sentence[edit]

It says "The winter solstice is the time at which the sun appears at noon...". Um. Wouldn't that be noon? HiLo48 (talk) 21:09, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Someone's had a go at fixing this. Thanks. It's clearer to me now, but I still think it could be made better. HiLo48 (talk) 22:27, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 December 2013[edit]

Accuracy issue The first line currently reads: Winter Solstice is an astronomical phenomenon occurring in December every year when Sun's elevation with respect to Earth reaches its lowest value (-25.5 degrees). The above should be changed to: Winter Solstice is an astronomical phenomenon occurring in December every year when the Sun's elevation with respect to the Earth's equator reaches its lowest value (-23.5 degrees). Reliable source: Title: Berkeley.Edu Link: Wonderpets2013 (talk) 18:34, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Note: Nothing to correct. Looks like that has been removed from the article altogether. --ElHef (Meep?) 21:47, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Yep, because it ignored the southern hemisphere. HiLo48 (talk) 09:14, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

Newgrange is older than Stonehenge, but be careful not to mention it![edit]

Further proof that the "Encyclopedia" that Wikipedia purports to be is strongly politically based rather than facts based ... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:59, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Reason for shortest day/longest night revision[edit]

This is an issue that has been mentioned previously on this talk page, in the sections "Winter solstice asymmetry" and "Darkest morning/evening". The shortest day and latest sunrise and earliest sunset do not occur on the day of the solstice. From Analemma#Eariest and latest sunrise and sunset:

The analemma can be used to find the dates of the earliest and latest sunrises and sunsets of the year. These do not occur on the dates of the solstices.

That's why I'm altering the assertion in the present article's lead. (talk) 15:28, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't think you understand the issue raised by the analemma. The solstice has indeed the longest night, but that does not mean it has the earliest sunset, nor the latest sunrise. And the it has indeed the shortest day, despite not having the latest sunrise, nor the earliest sunset. Rwflammang (talk) 16:38, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Okay, I'll partially revert about the longest/shortest day, pending looking for a good source one way or the other. (talk) 19:35, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Given that a night starts on one calendar date and ends on the next, i.e.the night starting on Dec. 21 ends on Dec. 22, I'm assuming there is some language convention that labels a night by its starting date? I've always said, "The night of Dec. 21 to Dec. 22." I'm perfectly happy if the convention is to to label a night by the date it starts. Will every reader know that convention? (Re the above comments, I agree with RWflammang. The latest sunrise and earliest sunset don't fall on the same day, and are separate questions. The winter solstice is when the time between sunrise and sunset is the minimum, which happens on a different day from the other two events.77Mike77 (talk) 04:36, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Removal of text by Jtamad[edit]

I undid the edit by user:Jtamad for two reasons. 1. What it says is correct. Solstice literally means when the Sun stands still. For several days at the solstice the Sun's declination moves so slowly that you can't tell that it's doing so. Amateurs try to find the time of the Solstice by observing the Sun's Azimuth at rising / setting and interpolating between times with a similar azimuths to approximate the time of solstice. 2. I couldn't understand your comment on why you removed the text. Yes, it should have a citation. Senor Cuete (talk) 19:16, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Observances section needs cleaning up[edit]

The observances section is very disturbing to read. It is written like something from the dark ages. Uses terms "(by definition, one cannot observe that an object has stopped moving until one later observes that it has not moved further from the preceding spot, or that it has moved in the opposite direction)" and "the sun moves too slowly". Which alludes to the Sun or Earth "standing still" or "stopped moving" and even the Sun moving around the Earth. Which of course is ludicrous, and I know these are not the meanings meant to be conveyed. It's just very sloppy and amateur for an article which covers a scientific phenomenon.

The Winter solstice is the moment of either perihelion or aphelion (depending on whether your winter is in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere) in Earth's orbit and is directly measurable by having measuring points at numerous locations on the planet measuring the redshift/blueshift of the Sun itself, or even other stars' redshift/blueshift beside any edge of the Sun (although there may be complications attempting to do that). Please see Wikipedia's own article on the field of Helioseismology and Redshift, for an examples of how we currently use redshift/blueshift of the Sun. Celtic hackr (talk) 16:36, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Mornings continue to get darker after winter solstice[edit]

Worth mentioning here or at December solstice is this strange phenomenon caused by the tilt of the Earth's axis that means in the Northern Hemisphere the mornings continue to get darker for about ten days after the winter solstice, while the afternoons start to get lighter around ten days earlier. It becomes quite noticeable between Christmas and New Year. The Southern Hemisphere experiences the opposite effect. A link to a fascinating BBC article on the subject follows. This is Paul (talk) 19:00, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Dongzhi (solar term)[edit]

The result of this discussion is no consensus. North America1000 16:09, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

same topic Shizhao (talk) 14:22, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Apparently it's not the same topic. I'm not too familiar with the term but, according to the article, Dongzhi is a period of time which "begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 270° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 285°" (how else could it be divided into three pentads?). The winter solstice, on the other hand, is a point in time corresponding to the instant when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 270° (in the north). Another thing which isn't clear is whether it's Xiàzhì in New Zealand when it's Dongzhi in China (the seasons are reversed in the other hemisphere), is it? So the winter solstice is the beginning of Dongzhi (and maybe of Xiàzhì in the southern hemisphere). Another reason not to merge it here is that Dongzhi is one of 24 solar terms. If you merge four of them to their respective solstice/equinox articles, what becomes of the other twenty? If anything, perhaps the 24 articles should be merged into one. Jimp 17:40, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

German Pagans and Calendars[edit]

The pagan Scandinavian and Germanic people of northern Europe celebrated a twelve-day "midwinter" (winter solstice) holiday called Yule (also called Jul, Julblot, jólablót, midvinterblot, julofferfest) beginning on December 25

I think this should be changed (and might well go and do it) as I am not convinced that pagan Scandinavians or Germans were quite calendarically precise. It seems more likely that it would start with something obvious, like the solstice.

0.1 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:48, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

confusion from so many articles about solstice[edit]

Zillions of google searchers are coming to this article today to find out when December Solstice is this year. Too bad the article does not start out by giving them the answer they seek.- (talk) 18:15, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

more precise Solstice and Equinox times[edit]

The English speaking world seems to be limited to approximate Solstice and Equinox times, to about the nearest minute.
The French offer a more precise, to the second, master table:

2013       20      11:01:55        21      05:03:57        22      20:44:08        21      17:11:00
2014    20      16:57:05        21      10:51:14        23      02:29:05        21      23:03:01
2015    20      22:45:09        21      16:37:55        23      08:20:33        22      04:47:57
2016    20      04:30:11        20      22:34:11        22      14:21:07        21      10:44:10
2017    20      10:28:38        21      04:24:09        22      20:01:48        21      16:27:57
2018    20      16:15:27        21      10:07:18        23      01:54:05        21      22:22:44
Références :   mars • juin • sept. • déc.
Institut de mécanique céleste et de calcul des éphémérides

Most WP readers do not care about this -- but some might like access to the more accurate times. How can we provide such access in a good way? Would we ever want to replace our template master table with a more-precise master table of times? - (talk) 19:19, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

What a bunch of foolish nonsense. How does French chauvinism contribute to Wikipedia? Senor Cuete (talk) 16:31, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Winter solstice/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

needs images, further citation, and a more substantial explanation in place of historySome thing 04:25, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Substituted at 05:19, 13 May 2016 (UTC)


Since when is Melbourne in the Northern Hemisphere? -MelbourneIsInTheSouthernHemisphere (talk) 07:05, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

British English[edit]

The first version of this article contained the words "colour" and "honoured", and "centre" has been thus spelt since 2007, so I cannot understand why my reversion of a recent change by an anon editor (also a vandal) to the American spelling "center" has twice been reverted. I will not engage in an edit war, so the current version remains with the recently altered spelling. Dbfirs 15:31, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

None of these Britishisms are in the article. What are you talking about? The article is written in American English. Senor Cuete (talk) 23:49, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Have you even looked at the history? Please follow WP:ENGVAR. Dbfirs 23:52, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I read it and an IP editor and I changed "centre" to "center" twice each which conforms to the variety of English in which the article is written. It doesn't matter if the facts described in the section happen in England. The word is "spelt"[sic] as "center" in an article written in American English under the guidelines of WP:ENGVAR. Senor Cuete (talk) 00:04, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Then you will need to look at the history to see that first usage is "centre" and that this spelling was retained for seven years in an article written in British English until an IP changed it. Apologies if you don't like the British past participle, but Thomas Gray used that spelling in Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, and William Cowper also used it. This argument is going nowhere, so shall we just drop it? Dbfirs 00:20, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the complete non-sequitors and red herrings. "spelt" is a spelling error in American English. Yes "centre" is the spelling in British English. PLEASE READ AND TRY TO COMPREHEND WP:ENGVAR. OK forget it. Senor Cuete (talk) 02:47, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
You brought up the red herring, and we use the British spelling Non sequitur. In reply to your SHOUTING, I quote from the advice to which you link: "When an English variety's consistent usage has been established in an article, maintain it in the absence of consensus to the contrary." That is all that I was doing. Anyway, we've resolved the problem with a compromise, so all is well. Dbfirs 09:16, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Calling Yule Yule?[edit]

The article says "Scandinavians still call Yule "Jul"" Well, what ELSE would they call it? That's what English speakers call it too; only the spelling is different. Both spellings are the standard way of spelling that sound sequence in the respective languages.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:43, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Global Orgasm[edit]

Could everyone refrain from removing Global Orgasm? Its an global, recurring Winter Solstice observance, and unofficial/secular observances are allowed on this page. Its notable enough to have a Wikipedia article, and I'd say its by extension, notable enough to be included here. Asarelah (talk) 12:10, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

With only one independent reference from 2006 (and that article written very much "tongue-in-cheek"), I would regard its notability as in doubt, and that reference doesn't mention "holiday". Dbfirs 12:21, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree - remove it. Senor Cuete (talk) 16:07, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
I also agree - no need to keep a link. AstroLynx (talk) 17:14, 16 December 2016 (UTC)