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Old man winter has been hanging out across Atlantic Canada for more than a month now but at 12:19 a.m. AST or 12:49 a.m. NST, it will be winter – astronomical winter. Climatological winter runs from Dec. 1 to the end of February, but that’s a different story for another time.
The winter solstice marks the arrival of the winter season and occurs the moment the sun shines at its most southern point, directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. It marks the shortest day of the year in terms of hours of daylight. The word solstice means “sun stand” or “sun stands still.”
Is your glass half-full or half-empty? While the solstice signals the shortest day of the year, it’s also a signal of more daylight to come in the following days! In terms of daylight, this day is six hours, 46 minutes shorter than on June Solstice. In most locations north of the equator, the shortest day of the year is around this date, but the earliest sunset is on Dec. 9 or Dec. 10.
There is quite a bit of weather folklore associated with winter and Christmas.
Grandma watched the weather very closely on Christmas Day. She believed a sunny Christmas Day meant a cold spring. I’ve since come across this little ditty: “As the hours of sun on Christmas Day, as many frosts there will be in the month of May.”
also kept an eye on the moon. Now, if you’re not a skier or you don’t get excited about making snow angels, you might not like this one. believed the nearer the New Moon to Christmas Day, the more severe the winter would be. This year, the December New Moon falls on Dec. 26 – yikes! Maybe Santa will put a new shovel under your tree.
I’ll be taking a little break and heading back to the farm for the holidays. I’d like to wish everyone a peaceful Christmas surrounded by good food, good friends and family. Take time to enjoy the magic of the season and the wonderful traditions and memories that go along with it.