History of Winter Solstice
The annual Winter Solstice celebration, also known as the beginning of winter and the shortest day of the year, is an annual celebration for people across the globe. For thousands of years, civilisations have come together to celebrate the changing of the seasons.
To celebrate, people would come together for feasts and entertainment. The changing of the seasons was and still is, crucial for farmers who raise livestock and grow crops, who are reliant on the weather conditions.
The Winter Solstice event is the moment when the North Pole on Earth tilts away from the Sun’s light, creating the shortest day of the year. The December Winter Solstice is for people in the Northern hemisphere. While at the same time in the Southern hemisphere, south of the equator, people will experience their Summer Solstice.
Stonehenge has long had an affiliation with the Winter and Summer Solstices. Located in Wiltshire, the stones have been a marvel of the world for centuries. According to current custodians, English Heritage, a theory for the existence of the stones, is that Neolithic people constructed Stonehenge as a monument, aligned with the movements of the sun. The position of the sun between the stones can give a broad indication of the seasons of the year.
Stonehenge has a glorious history of being the centre point for people across the world, coming together to witness the sunrise over the stones. People have their own reasons for celebrating the Winter Solstice, such as faith and culture. But all people who gather understand one fundamental thing; they are witnessing something special.
Winter Solstice Details 2022
The official Winter Solstice 2022 is on Wednesday 21st December 2022 at 21:48 at night. However, English Heritage is a traditionalist and celebrates the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge as it has been celebrated for years; the first sunrise after the solstice.
Sunrise on Thursday 22nd December 2022 is 08:04. For the past couple of years, English Heritage has been providing a live stream of the Winter Solstice sunrise for free on their Facebook page. It is not yet known in this is confirmed for the Winter Solstice 2022. However, it seems pretty likely so, make sure you constantly check for updates.
English Heritage allows visitors to come to Stonehenge during solstices, both summer and Winter, for free. However, they do have conditions of entry and regulations over what guests can and cannot bring. For full terms, head over to English Heritage.
If you’re wanting to visit Stonehenge, especially at the Winter Solstice, check out Brades Acre Touring Camp; local, affordable, practical camping facilities and accommodation.