On the 21st of December, the world marks the winter solstice, a pivotal astronomical event signifying the onset of winter, the shortest day, and the longest night of the year.
Referred to as the December solstice, this phenomenon occurs when the Sun reaches its southernmost position, rising at the zenith of the Tropic of Capricorn. It’s a celestial moment when daylight spans its briefest duration, yielding the lengthiest night.
In the northern hemisphere, this event typically falls on either the 21st or 22nd of December, accounting for variations in the solar year and leap year calculations. As the winter solstice unfolds, astronomical winter commences, accompanied by a gradual lengthening of daylight hours.
The duration of the shortest day varies slightly across regions, with Poland experiencing an average of about 7.5 hours from sunrise to sunset. Coastal areas witness the shortest intervals, while mountainous regions endure comparatively longer daylight. Consequently, the longest night extends for approximately 16.5 hours.
Curiously, in the past two years, the shortest day and longest night coincided on the 21st of December. However, in the following year, 2023, the shortest day is set to occur on the 22nd of December, shifting the pattern observed in previous cycles.