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What You Need To Know About 2016's Winter Solstice

Winter solstice is a phenomenon marking the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The solstice can happen between December 20 and 23, but this year's solstice will happen on December 21. In the UK, sun will rise in the UK at 08:04 GMT and set at 15:54 GMT, giving just 7 hours and 49 minutes of daylight.

What You Need To Know About 2016's 'Winter Solstice'
Stonehenge has as long been studied for its possible connections with ancient astronomy. The site is aligned in the direction of the sunrise of the summer solstice and the sunset of the winter solstice.

Traditions And Rituals Observed During Winter Solstice

According to Mirror, the winter solstice is a major pagan festival, with rituals of rebirth having been celebrated for thousands of years. One of the biggest celebrations in the UK happens at the famous landmark, the Stonehenge where crowds gather to watch the sunrise on the morning of the solstice.

Pagan leader Arthur Pendragon said: "It is the most important day of the year for us because it welcomes in the new sun. There were hundreds of people there. If we'd celebrated on the 21st it would have been the right day but the wrong sun - when the whole point of the occasion is about welcoming in the new sun."

The Stonehenge has long been studied for its possible connections with ancient astronomy. The site is aligned in the direction of the sunrise of the summer solstice and the sunset of the winter solstice.

No Need To Go To Stonehenge To Watch The Solstice

People who want to see the solstice do not need to go to Stonehenge to actually witness it. A website - https://sztanko.github.io/solsticestreets/ is available that shows the streets and cities around the world where you can get a clear view of the sun rising on the morning of the solstice.

After the solstice, the days will start to get longers. Minutes are added every day - a gradual process, until the days will eventually lengthen for the summer solstice, which is expected to be on June 21.

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