What is the Winter Solstice?
The Winter Solstice is an astrological phenomenon marking the shortest day and longest night of the year. The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days. Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied across cultures, but many have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time. The solstice may have been a special moment of the annual cycle for some cultures even during neolithic times. Astronomical events were often used to guide activities such as the mating of animals, the sowing of crops and the monitoring of winter reserves of food. Many cultural mythologies and traditions are derived from this. In temperate climates, the midwinter festival was the last feast celebration, before deep winter began.