Definition of winter solstice in English:

winter solstice


  • 1The solstice at midwinter, at the time of the shortest day, about 22 December in the northern hemisphere and 21 June in the southern hemisphere.

    • ‘Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, the winter solstice, New Year's Eve - all are occasions to offer up good cheer, to imagine peace on earth for a moment.’
    • ‘His measurements of the length of the shadow of a pole at the summer and at the winter solstices give results which are accurate to within 1% of their true value.’
    • ‘Well, Daniel, we are having this conversation on the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, when it seems like the light may never return.’
    • ‘Christmas is situated at the winter solstice; Easter is celebrated at the spring equinox and the renewal of life.’
    • ‘Other peoples in northern Europe also observed mid-winter harvest festivals, usually around the winter solstice.’
    • ‘Dawson got an early taste of the winter solstice when the Longest Night Ensemble arrived on December 7 for its second annual preview show at the Oddfellows' Hall.’
    • ‘This festival lasted for seven days and included the winter solstice, which usually occurred around December 25th on the ancient Julian calendar.’
    • ‘On December 21, the winter solstice, one could stand at the same point, turn one hundred eighty degrees, and watch the sun rise between the opening of the stones making the bottom of the horse-shoe.’
    • ‘For centuries, this heady flower has been a traditional decoration for the various holidays that fall in the December winter solstice season.’
    • ‘The megalithic passage tomb is illuminated by the winter solstice sunrise.’
    • ‘Because of discrepancies in the Julian calendar the winter solstice was ten days earlier than it is now, consequently this made rather more sense in Shakespeare's day than it does in ours.’
    • ‘Of course the Northern Hemisphere's summer solstice is the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.’
    • ‘The winter solstice is the day the earth's tilt gives the southern hemisphere the least sunlight, making it the shortest day of the year.’
    • ‘They aligned their buildings with celestial movements, marking where the sun rose at the summer and winter solstices.’
    • ‘The Greeks celebrated the New Year on December 21 at the winter solstice, when the day was at its shortest.’
    • ‘By month's end, though, the rapidly shortening days in the onrush to the winter solstice leave the planet setting more than an hour and a half after the Sun.’
    • ‘Hundreds of people gathered at one of Wiltshire's historic monuments at dawn on Tuesday to witness the winter solstice sunrise at Stonehenge.’
    • ‘The winter solstice falls on December 21, marking the year's longest night.’
    • ‘Jews mark Hannukah, the festival of lights, this year celebrated on December 5, while pagans increasingly observe the winter solstice - the shortest day of the year - on December 21.’
    • ‘For you, then, those weeks from just before the winter solstice up until the spring equinox are filled with stark meaning and symbolism.’
    1. 1.1Astronomy The solstice in December.
      • ‘Each year, on the fifth night after the new moon following the winter solstice, white-robed priests performed a solemn ritual, cutting mistletoe from oaks using a golden sickle.’
      • ‘The times between winter solstices, or between autumnal equinoxes, also give different values for the astronomical ‘year.’’
      • ‘Similarly Chinese New Year is often celebrated at the second full moon after the winter solstice, although again the precise rules are complicated.’