It’s finally here! I’m talking about the shortest day of the year, otherwise known as the Winter Solstice. I’m sure much of the public will be completely unaware when this date swings by each year, just before Christmas or that longer daylight hours are now on the way, albeit very slowly. But for those of us that spend a lot of time outside, whether that is in the garden or consumed by an outdoor hobby, it is a day to celebrate!

This year, those of us in the UK can expect the sun to have set as early as 15:54 dependent on your location. So all those in the Northern Hemisphere are in for the shortest day and longest night of the year, whilst those in the Southern Hemisphere have the longest day and shortest night.

Our summer and winter seasons are caused by the tilt of the earth, not our distance from the sun. At the December Solstice, the Northern Hemisphere is leaning furthest away from the sun for the year, meaning it gets less direct sunlight.

Did you know?

The word solstice comes from the Latin word sol, meaning: sun and sistere, meaning: to stand still. During the Solstice, the sun reaches its most Southern point as seen from Earth. It appears to stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn and then reverses its direction. The solstice can happen on the 20th, 21st, 22nd or 23rd December, although those on the 20th or 23rd are rare. So rare that we will not have a 23rd solstice until 2303!

Celebrate by..

Baking a Yule Log Cake: originally made by those that did not have a hearth or fireplace to burn a Yule Log.. What’s a Yule Log? Now we’re getting in some deep traditions! The original Yule Log is a special wood log burned on the night of the winter solstice. Traditionally, the fire is kept burning all night long to bring light to the darkest night of the year and help re-ignite the Sun.

Here’s our favourite recipe! 

We’ve taken a bit of a classic and turned it on its head (literally!) What do you think?

We’d love to see your efforts; tag us at @countryfieldgardens