Winter Solstice livestream as it happens from Newgrange

Image source Cultural Symbolism

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

December 1: The meteorologists say winter started weeks ago.

Check out the gallery above for last year's winter solstice from around the world.

People flock to Stonehenge to celebrate the winter solstice every year What happens at Stonehenge on the winter solstice? Eastern Time on December 21.

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Whatever happens, the day after Christmas will have an appropriate chill in the air. Even a stretch of the Tennessee-North Carolina border could have a white Christmas.

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This is because the tilt of the Earth's axis is least aligned with the sun, providing us with the least daylight of the year. The tilt of the Earth - not our distance from the sun - is what causes winter and summer. During the summer solstice for the north, the sun is overhead the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere; but in December, it's overhead for the Southern Hemisphere.

When is the shortest day of the year? . Boston's sunlight period ends a bit earlier, at 4:15 p.m., with nine hours and four minutes of daylight. In other words, the sun reaches its southern-most position for those of us north of the equator. Sunrise was at 8.03am GMT and sunset is at 3.53pm.

If you're exhausted of these dark evenings, the good news is that our earliest sunsets are already behind us. As the Earth moves around the sun day after day, each hemisphere will experience different seasons. It's an old proverb that certainly has some scientific truth.

Since the earth is tilted on a 23.5° angle, it makes sense. Not until the Northern Hemisphere sees a net gain in solar energy (more heat coming in than going out) do average temperatures begin their ascent. Perhaps it will help while away the long winter hours and keep your next "Summer of Sailing" at the forefront of your mind, and on your calendar.

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