It’s December 21, the day of winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. “Days are getting longer and the sun is getting stronger,” I say that a lot these days to remind myself that in terms of daylight, we’re on the home stretch. The worst of the winter dark is behind us.
If you care about snow and cold, and you’re in the northern hemisphere, bad news, the worst is yet to come.
But the good news is that the earliest sunset is past and we’re on the home stretch to longer brighter days with more time for outdoor fun and adventure.
(Actually the earliest sunset, though not the longest night, was behind us awhile ago. See Earliest sunsets are not at winter solstice for the explanation of that fact.)
I’ve had an ongoing argument with my partner, Jeff, for years about January, February, and March (the worst months of the year, on my view). His worst is November. Why? Less light and it’s heading into the dark. Now we’re on our way out of the dark. Things are looking up.
My winter dislike has always been cold and snow and I’ve trundled along through the autumn quite happily, and then holidays. What’s not to like?
But I’m going to try out his view and focus on the daylight and he’s right, from that point of view, we’re on the home stretch.
I loved the Midwinter Festival in Dunedin, New Zealand. I was there in June 2012. No Christmas holidays to break up the dark, of course, so they do this instead.
“On the longest night of the year, the lights will be dimmed in the heart of Dunedin city for a magical procession of giant lanterns and spectacular performers. The iconic Dunedin Midwinter Carnival returns in 2012 with ‘A Frosty Night’, New Zealand’s very own winter fairytale. The Octagon’s Victorian streetscape will be brought to life, with fireworks, stilt walkers, musicians and dancers, who will orbit the Octagon, joined by hundreds of hand-made lanterns carried by local children. Juliet Novena Sorrel, the carnival’s Artistic Director describes this year’s event as an “evocative and magical evening” for all to enjoy.|”