Should the Winter Solstice Decide when Winter is?


Made with Canva

Winter imagery

Charlie Eik, Journalist

This year the winter solstice lands on December 21, marking the first day of winter. But most people will have already considered it winter by then, so should the winter solstice mark the first day of winter?

The winter solstice most notably, marks the first day of winter. That day also happens to be the shortest day of the entire year for the northern hemisphere, while the southern hemisphere happened to have their first day of winter back on June 21. In the southern hemisphere though, it’s mostly called the June solstice. The winter solstice marks the day that Earth’s poles are furthest away from the sun, most people mark this as the middle of winter while some places and calendars see this as the first day of winter.

Snowy trees and a trail (Made with Canva)

So, should we be marking this as the first day of winter as our calendars say?

ERHS Sophomore, Avery Knapp stated “The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year due to the Earth’s rotation and orbit. Surely we should start winter accordingly, on the day when winter is most evident.”

ERHS Freshman, Ash Fraire had also said “The winter solstice should be marked as the start of winter because with it being the shortest day of the year, it would make more sense for winter to start on a day that isn’t like the other days. Especially as it is one of the more favorable seasons.”

With both opinions in mind, I can see how it should start on the winter solstice but also how it shouldn’t. Most winter holidays happen to be before the winter solstice or around the same time, so an argument can be made for both sides.

Personally, I believe that winter should start when the winter solstice is. In agreement with Knapp and Fraire, it generally makes most sense with winter starting on the day that is the shortest of the year. But, it can still be up for debate.

And with that, be sure to stay warm and safe this winter! It’s a perfect time to plan holiday movie marathons and hangouts with friends, at ice skating rinks or even just someone’s house.