Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Today is the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. It's as dark as it's going to get this winter, so like good pagans, we should have a celebration some time about now.
According to this website, today's sunrise in Manchester (about the same latitude as here) was at 0825, and the sun will set at 1548. From now on, the days will slowly start to get longer, although by Saturday, the length of the day will be only be a minute longer (0827 to 1551), so it takes a while for the change to be noticeable. But in a month's time, the day will be nearly an hour longer. Of course, it will probably still be cold (although hopefully not as cold as today - this December has been exceptionally cold).
One good thing about being retired is that I no longer have to leave the house before it gets light in the morning. I used to feel like a troglodyte in the months when I left for work in the dark and got home again in the dark. Much more civilised to stay indoors until it's light.
So, whichever one you celebrate, have a happy midwinter festival!