Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hooray for Winter Solstice...2012...

The December solstice will occur at 11:12am Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on December 21, 2012. For us living here in the central Oklahoma area that is 5:12am. If you want to know the time in your area for this event you can check here.

Image from timeanddate.com
December Solstice is the event which marks the start of increasing length in hours of sunlight for us in the northern hemisphere (conversely, December Solstice marks the start of shorter daylight hours in the southern hemisphere). While this is our shortest day of the year (hours of sunlight), this is the longest day of the year in the southern hemisphere. You might not realize that the December Solstice occurs on different days in different years: "December 20 and December 23 solstices occur less frequently than December 21 or December 22 solstices in the Gregorian calendar. The last December 23 solstice occurred in 1903 and will not occur again until the year 2303. A December 20 solstice has occurred very rarely, with the next one occurring in the year 2080." (source) The reason for this variance?

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.

 Be well, be kind and enjoy! Consider visiting a local animal shelter or rescue and giving some of your time and attention to the beings there. They will appreciate it (and so will you). Thank you and happy Holidays!

8 comments:

Laloofah said...

I adore Winter Solstice, it's one of my very favorite days of the year! Thank you for sharing this homage to it. :-) It's an unfortunate coincidence that some have chosen to interpret the cycle of the Mayan calendar to mean the world will end on Solstice. Though it certainly means endings and new beginnings, I'm confident it won't be THAT kind! :-)

Don't you love Vegan Peace's delightful cards?

Happy Vegan Holidays to you and yours, too, dear friend!

Christina said...

After the events of the previous days, I would love it if the Mayan calender end meant something wonderful.

Yes indeed.Volunteer to help the animal folks. They could really use it.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Laloofah. The solstices (both of them) are sort of nifty aren't they? The dance of the planet making a turn.

The vegan peace cards are great.

Thanks for the holiday wishes and Veganolidays to you and yours too!! :-)

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Christina. It would be nifty if something stupendous and good happened.

Imagine if everyone did as much helping of animals as they do harming...wow!

Stay warm.

Bea Elliott said...

Praises to dancing planets and rescued lives! May all good wishes return your way a hundred fold!

Truly... The best of health, peace and contentment to you veganelder - Your wisdom enriches us all. xox

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Bea. My wish is that your excellent wishes all come true for you too. Thank you.

Have Gone Vegan said...

So glad the 21st finally arrived. SAD has hit a bit hard this year, so will take every extra second of light that I can, snort.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting HGV. SAD? Ouch...I'm glad the solar photons are increasing.