Today marks the winter solstice, or midwinter, the shortest day and longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. From here, the amount of daylight each day will slowly increase until with reach the summer solstice in six month's time. 

Celebrated as 'Yule' by the pagan communities of Northern Europe, in the UK the main observance takes place at Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, parts of which are dated to 3100BC. 

The burial site was built to be oriented towards the midwinter sunrise and has been a place of ritual, worship, and celebration for thousands of years. In neolithic times, celebrations may have included feasting, while the Romans celebrated Saturnalia for a week over midwinter, dedicated to the god of generation, dissolution, plenty, wealth, agriculture, periodic renewal and liberation, Saturn.

The midwinter is marked by the Earth's maximum axial tilt (23.4 degrees) away from the Sun, spreading sunlight out over a larger area of the Earth's surface.

The exact moment of midwinter varies depending on where you are, but if you're at the clubhouse today, the winter equinox will take place at 10.23pm. With only seven hours and 49 minutes of daylight here today, make sure to make the most of it!


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