Winter Solstice

Yesterday, the 22nd of December marked the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year as we like to call it. Obviously the shortness of this day is referring to the day with the least hours of sunlight. To be exact, it is 7 hours, 49 minutes and 41 seconds in Britain. So now we can look forward to the next six months of days growing longer until Summer arrives.

Stonehenge
During the winter solstice, people take photos at Stonehenge, located in the UK in Wiltshire. It still remains a mystery as to how the rocks were transported across Britain so long ago.


But why are we as humans so fascinated with the winter solstice? Our ancestors built Stonehenge which directly faces the point of sunrise on the day of the winter solstice. Today, hoards flock to the site to take part in the Druid ceremony to celebrate the winter solstice. Originally, it was a time when animals would be slaughtered as they would not be able to be fed during the winter period. The fruit would also be fermented. The winter solstice for us marks the start of winter but also the real start of the new year of revolving around the sun.

The word solstice derives from latin meaning ‘sun standing still’ and it is because of the fact that the sun seems to stall in the air around the Tropic of Capricorn and then head south.

In Ancient Rome they would celebrate the winter solstice with the festival named Saturnalia started on the 17th and it would last a full week where banquets would be held to honour the god of gods, Saturn. The event created a completely abnormal culture where everyone would drop their supposed status in society and everything that went with it, to just let go because “when in Rome…”. Wars would even be put on hold so that the debauchery could commence. Even slaves were able to get in on the act.


Whilst we would all perhaps love to travel back in time and have some Saturnalia good times, we have more pressing matters such as making sure we know what to do when sailing in cold weather. Why not download our guide on cold weather sailing!

CTA2_Cold_Weather_Sailing

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s