What Is the Winter Solstice?

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, in terms of the amount of sunlight in the northern hemisphere. In 2016, the winter solstice falls on December 21. To understand what the winter solstice is, and why it matters, you need to know some astronomy. Astronomy was part of the quadrivium (the arts of number, space, and time) from the ancient liberal arts curriculum.

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