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First Day of Winter


Updated July 15, 2011

Event: First Day of Winter (also called the Winter Solstice)

Date: December 21

Location: Everywhere in the Northern hemisphere; in the Southern hemisphere, the first day of winter happens in June.

Organizer: None

What to do: Many civilizations, both ancient and current, mark the first day of winter with holidays or festivals. On this shortest day of the year (at least for those of us in the Northern hemisphere), we celebrate the return to light, as we gain a few minutes of sunshine every day from now until the summer solstice in June.

At home, you might cheer winter's arrival with your favorite winter activities and sports. If you're lucky enough to have some fresh snow, get out your favorite snow toys and enjoy!

For more information: About's Guide to Geography explains the Winter Solstice.

See all December events.

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