Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice which is the longest night of the year. Starting on Sunday, days will start getting longer once again until we hit the Summer Solstice in June. Here are some facts about Saturday that might interest you.

  • Ancient cultures celebrated the Winter Solstice as a time of death and rebirth. Scandinavian and Germanic pagans lit fires and burned Yule Logs during the longest night of the year in celebration of the return of the Sun as days would start to become longer.
  • Many people thought the world would end on the Winter Solstice in 2012. Remember that? The Mayan calendar was set to end on December 21, 2012 and many people around the world believed that meant the end of the Earth and civilization as we knew it. Thankfully, they were wrong.
  • December 21st has significant events tied to the date other than religious pagan celebrations. In 1620, the pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts on this date, and in 1898, Marie Curie discovered radium. Also on this date, in 1968, the Apollo 8 spacecraft launched making it the first manned moon mission.

For those who don't like to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or other religious holidays this time of the year, the Winter Solstice can be something you can rejoice in and celebrate without any ties to religious affiliation.