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Winter Solstice – Shortest Day of the Year

Solstices are opposite on either side of the equator, so the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere and vice versa.

December solstice illustration
The December Solstice.
The December Solstice is the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, while in the Southern Hemisphere it's the June Solstice. (Ill not to scale)

When is the Solstice in my city?

Northern Hemisphere winter solstice

(North America, Central America, Europe, Asia, northern Africa)

December solstice 2015: December 22, at 04:48 UTC.

Southern Hemisphere winter solstice

(Australia, New Zealand, South America, Southern Africa)

June solstice 2015: June 21, at 16:38 UTC.

Culture & Traditions: June Solstice Culture & Traditions: December Solstice

First day of winter?

In the USA and some other areas in the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice marks the first day of winter. However, the official date for the first day of winter varies depending on the country's climate.

Topics: Astronomy, Seasons, December, June, Sun, Earth

In this Article


Equinox & Solstice

  1. Nearly Equal Night & Day
  2. March Equinox
  3. 10 Facts: March Equinox
  4. Vernal (Spring) Equinox
  5. Customs Around March Equinox
  6. September Equinox
  7. Autumnal (Fall) Equinox
  8. 10 Facts: September Equinox
  9. Customs: September Equinox
  10. June Solstice
  11. Customs Around June Solstice
  12. Summer Solstice
  13. December Solstice
  14. Winter Solstice

Equinox & Solstice Worldwide

Astronomical Season Calculator

Sunrise & Sunset times

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Equation of time

Why doesn't the year's earliest sunset not occur on the Winter Solstice, even though it is the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight? more