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Shortest day of the year this Tuesday, December 22

Shortest day of the year this Tuesday, December 22

It’s the Winter Solstice this Tuesday, December 22, when the Earth’s position in relation to the sun will make for the shortest day of the year in the Philippines and other countries in the Northern Hemisphere.

The sun is set to rise at 6:16 a.m. and to set at 5:32 p.m.—barely eleven hours of daylight, compared to a full 13 hours on the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice, on June 22, 2016.

The Winter Solstice is the culmination of a change in the length of days and nights that began on the Autumnal Equinox last September 23.

On that day, boh day and night were of equal length. But in the days and months that followed, the balance between light and dark shifted in favor of the longer, colder nights we’ve come to associate with the Christmas season.

The Winter Solstice on December 22, 2015, is the turning point after which the day will once again grow longer until it is at its longest, on June 22, 2016, the Summer Solstice. The day will then grow shorter until day and night are of equal length once again, on the Spring Equinox on March 20, 2016.

It’s believed that Jesus’ birth was arbitrarily set on December 25, just a few days after the Winter Solstice, when the shift between day and night becomes noticeable—symbolic of the messianic promise of a brighter future.

The celebration of astronomical events in a religious context isn’t relegated to Christianity alone: Judaism, Islam, and other religions also hold traditions based on the regular movements of the skies. — GMA News

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