or at least until the next solstice.
its the actual reason for the season
@1, the "next solstice" is on June.

Happy first day of winter, all.
Shit. In June. Can't type. Need more coffee.
@2 Shhh! I know that, but if you aren't careful, they'll hear you over on the Ricky Gervais thread, and its already got a shit ton of comments...
@2, 5 - Could we get some carols about the earth's axial tilt up in here?
Your wish = My command:

Good Pagan folk, rejoice
With heart and soul and voice
Give ye heed to what we say
News! News!
Our Lord the Sun is born today
Great him as the dawn's first light
Bids farewell to dark of night
The Sun returns today
The Sun returns today

Etc., etc. And if you decide to visit this interesting pagan carol site, be sure to scroll down over on the left side of the page for "Faunus the Roman Goat-God," which I was not daring enough to post here...…
@7 - Careful what you promise regarding my wishes, but thank you.

Though I was hoping for something maybe a little more scientifically-minded. Does anyone know a rhyme for "23.44"?
Or maybe something using the word "aphelion" (which it isn't today, but will be soon).
Today I'm preparing leg of lamb with fresh herbs for the solstice. And I just sacrificed 24 crickets to my hens, that they may bless me with a bounty of extra rich eggs. Ommmmmmmmm.......
@ 6, here's a Lovecraft/solstice carol:…
Okay, I'll be Mr. Picky-Nits o this one, since astronomy is presumably still on many people's minds this morning aprez eclipse.

Today is NOT "the shortest day of the year", because all days, (a "day" being defined as the length of time it takes for the earth to make a complete rotation on its axis) are the same length. So, the headline should read "Today is the Day With Least Amount of Daylight In The Northern Hemisphere This Year." (because, you know, it's just the opposite below the equator, where today they get the greatest amount of daylight for the year.)

Not nearly as sexy - or brief - I admit, but far more accurate.

Oh, and - Happy Solstice!
@12 - Yeah, but defined as "the interval of light between two successive nights; the time between sunrise and sunset" it's still an accurate headline.

But defined as ", Doris: an American actress and singer born in 1924" none of this makes any sense. Whatever. Que sera, sera.
@12, ahem, a "day" can be defined that way, and it can also be defined as the daylight period of an astronomical day, in contrast to "night". Words don't have single meanings, and astronomy is not more important than English.

It's the shortest day of the year. Accuracy = 100%.
@ 12, that's sidereal time. Nerd.
@13, but Dennis Day is dead, and Doris's son Terry was named Melcher, so surely she's the shortest Day. Well, Stockwell Day is only three feet tall, but he's Canadian, so he doesn't count.
Well this isn't a solstice song, it is a rather unorthodox Christmas song, but it does reference the 21st of December and have a very basic recipe for gravy. It is my favorite.…

Take care, all. I'll be heading out to a wireless dead zone soon and may not have a chance to tell you all that you're loved.
@16 - Yeah, we're not counting metric Days here.
And did you know that Stockwell Day promised to hold a referendum on any issue that 3% of the voters asked for, so Rick Mercer got over 600,000 signatures petitioning Day to change his first name to Doris.

No, it's a solar day. A sidereal day (which, at 23 hours 56 minutes is slightly shorter than a solar day) is defined as the length of time that passes between a given fixed star in the sky crossing a given projected meridian line of longitude. The difference is caused by the fact that, as the earth orbits the sun, it has to rotate slightly more than one full-turn on its axis with respect to the fixed star in order to reach the same earth-sun orientation.

Basically, we were taught that solar time is - naturally - fixed to the sun, while sidereal (or conversely the even-more-accurate stellar) time are fixed to stars.
You want a nerd-off, COMTE? Ya got one.

You said, regarding the definition of "day":

"... [is] defined as the length of time it takes for the earth to make a complete rotation on its axis..."

A complete rotation on its axis is 360 degrees, which is what it takes for a given fixed star to return to a projected meridian, which is, as you say, a sidereal day. A solar day is an approximately 361 degree turn on the earth's axis.
Jesus, you two, go do some eggnog shots or something....
Happy Solstice, Sloggers! My favorite day of the year. Canuck, I do love the pagan carol site; thanks so much for sharing.
Why is the solstice considered the first day of Winter?
To me it make more sense (scientifically) to designate the mid-point between the equinox and solstice as the start / end of a season, and have the middle of the season coinciding with the shortest / longest / equal day length.
I'm sure it had something to do with pagan feast days. Seems like everything else does.
I love the passing of the winter solstice. It's still depressingly dismally dark for most of the 24 hours but at least it begins to be slightly lighter each day.

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