|Image from timeanddate.com|
As with the June solstice, the December solstice’s varying dates are mainly due to the calendar system. The Gregorian calendar, which is used in most western countries, has 365 days in a common year and 366 days in a leap year. However, the tropical year, which is the length of time the sun takes to return to the same position in the seasons cycle (as seen from Earth), is different to the calendar year. The tropical year is approximately 365.242199 days but varies from year to year because of the influence of other planets. The exact orbital and daily rotational motion of the Earth, such as the “wobble” in the Earth's axis (precession), also contributes to the changing solstice dates. (source)In other words...the timing for natural cycles is a bit fuzzy.
Human animals in the northern hemisphere have marked this event with celebrations and festivals for thousands of years. The light is returning, with this return spring will eventually occur...new growth in plants...new babies born to many of our wild relatives. All in all, pretty good reasons for celebration.
Greetings and best wishes to you and yours on this holiday season. Please make this a peaceful and caring celebration time by living as an ethical vegan.
These images are available from VeganPeace and you can visit there if you would like to send electronic vegan holiday greetings.
|Pictures of Grasshopper, Rose, Rudy and Danny taken by Wanda Embar, Vegan Peace at Farm Sanctuary.|