Although it may feel like winter when it hits November and the temperature plummets, but the official first day of winter doesn't hit until the 21st of December in the Northern Hemisphere, which is the winter solstice. This celestial event holds significance as it is the shortest day and longest night of the year, ushering in a season of cold, crisp air, and a unique ambience. Winter months are officially December, January, and February, and the winter solstice means that our days will progressively get longer as we approach the summer solstice, which is the longest day with the latest sunset.
On the 21st of December, the hemisphere is tilted the farthest from the sun, which makes the sun appear at its lowest point in the sky and casts long shadows on the landscape. Although the daylight hours on this day are brief, the sun lingers on the horizon for longer and some feel it casts an ethereal spell over the world.
On this special day, people around the globe engage in various customs and traditions to honour the changing of the seasons, including lighting candles and bonfires to symbolise triumphing over darkness and encouraging the sun's return. Some cultures mark the first day of winter with feasts and gatherings.
For many, the winter solstice is seen as a time of reflection, a moment to acknowledge the cycles of nature and the passage of time. It is a day to express gratitude for the warmth and light that the sun provides, even as its presence wanes.
The winter solstice is also a time when many look to the sky to witness celestial wonders. The prolonged darkness allows for better visibility of the stars, and stargazing becomes a popular activity. The crisp winter air enhances the clarity of the night sky, offering a breathtaking display of constellations, planets, and, if one is fortunate, even the elusive Northern Lights.
Beyond the customs and celebrations, this first day of winter carries a profound symbolic significance. It is a reminder that, even in the coldest and darkest moments, there is a promise of renewal and rebirth. Check out one of our past blogs on seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and how to conquer (or help) it! As the days gradually lengthen following the solstice, there is a collective anticipation of the eventual return of spring and the revival of life.Why not tag us in your "first day of winter" stories @triabeautyuk on Tria Beauty UK's Facebook or Instagram? Let us know if you do anything to mark the day.