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TOPIC: Winter Solstice


L

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Winter Solstice is at 11:11 UT, 21st December, 2012

Tropical Winter solstice trance dance party Darwin Australia

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Miroslav Vrlík - Winter Solstice (Original mix)

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Sunrise Timelapse Mid Winter (Aberdeen, Scotland)


Credit sbeckett20



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On December 21, it gets dark fast which makes for perfect conditions (weather permitting) for cultural and scientific activities to take place. Interpretation of the event often takes cultural undertones as it has deep historical roots based in astronomy. Metropolitan centres like Toronto and Vancouver celebrate the event annually, with night parades and lantern-making workshops. The Kensington Market Winter Solstice parade has been running for 22 years. Vancouver's Secret Lantern Society holds its events at a number of locations throughout the city. The Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa celebrates the Winter Solstice annually with a free stargazing event during the longest night of the year. This year, over 200 people have registered for the event.
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At 8:30 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on Dec. 21, take a deep breath.
That is the precise moment of winter solstice.
You will be more than four hours into the longest night of the year, said to be 18 hour and 33 minutes long in Anchorage by the U.S. Naval Observatory.  The sun wont rise for another 13 hours and 30 minutes.

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The Winter Solstice occurs in the northern hemisphere at 05:30 UT, 22nd December, 2011.



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B.C. pagans to celebrate the 'rebirth' of sun with rituals

On Vancouver Island, pagans are lighting cauldron fires and dancing through giant evergreen hoops to symbolise being reborn.
In Vancouver, pagans are bowing to stag antlers, revering pentangles and burning cinnamon incense to mark Yule, which celebrates the "rebirth of the sun" at winter solstice.

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Happy winter solstice!
The Sun is at its most southerly point in the sky at 23:38 UT.

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A lunar eclipse smack-dab on the date of the solstice, however, is unusual. Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory inspected a list of eclipses going back 2000 years.

"Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and that is 1638 DEC 21. Fortunately we won't have to wait 372 years for the next one...that will be on 2094 DEC 21" - Geoff Chester.

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This year's winter solstice - an event that will occur next Tuesday - will coincide with a full lunar eclipse in a union that hasn't been seen in 456 years.
The celestial eccentricity holds special significance for spiritualities that tap into the energy of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and a time that is associated with the rebirth of the sun.
The last time the two celestial events happened at the same time was in AD 1554, according to NASA.

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In Persia, the solstice marked the birthday of Mithra, the Sun King. Around 275 A.D., the Roman Emperor, Aurelian, commemorated a feast day coinciding with the winter solstice: Die Natalis Invicti Solis ("The birthday of the Unconquered Sun").
In ancient times, December 25 was the date of the lavish Roman festival of Saturnalia, a sort of bacchanalian thanksgiving to the god of agriculture, for whom the slowest moving of the then-known planets was named. Saturnalia was celebrated on the date of the winter solstice by the calendar then in use, and it also marked the fact that the Sun had stopped creeping southward in the noon sky and would thenceforth cross the meridian higher each day, warming the Earth and reawakening nature. This holiday of the Romans was a version of similar celebrations by other early peoples.
It has been said that early Christians chose the date of Saturnalia as the day on which to celebrate Christmas in order to avoid attention and thus escape persecution. When the Roman emperor Constantine officially adopted Christianity in the fourth century, the date of Christmas remained December 25.

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