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Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Let there be light

Welcome to the shortest day of the year.

Today is the winter solstice, which means today is technically the first day of winter. You’re forgiven if you take a look outside, shake your head, and suspect that winter actually started a few weeks ago.

And yes, December has been cold so far, with just a couple of days that have been anywhere near the normal, and plenty that have been a dozen degrees or more below normal.

That follows a slightly chillier than normal November as well.

But today is the day that things start to turn around.

Tomorrow, there will be a few seconds more of daylight. The day after tomorrow, a few seconds more than that. Interestingly, the sun has been setting later for about a week already, thanks to a quirk of orbital mechanics, although later sunrises more than made up for it — until today.

Of course, the coldest weather is still ahead, but each day there will be less night and more light, and that helps make it bearable.

Winter facilities, like the skating oval and the Hanbury Hill toboggan area, got an early start this season, and there is plenty of snow already for skiing — both downhill and cross-country — or for snowmobiling.

That’s one way to enjoy winter. Others include traditional mid-winter feasts like Christmas and New Year’s.

It is tempting to link our modern seasonal festivities with long-gone pagan solstice celebrations. However, we are of the opinion that the human race will take just about any excuse to get together with family and friends for a bit of good cheer.

Whatever gets you through the (longest) night, as John Lennon might have sung.

And in case you were wondering, this means it’s only 13 weeks until spring.

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 21, 2013

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Welcome to the shortest day of the year.

Today is the winter solstice, which means today is technically the first day of winter. You’re forgiven if you take a look outside, shake your head, and suspect that winter actually started a few weeks ago.

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Welcome to the shortest day of the year.

Today is the winter solstice, which means today is technically the first day of winter. You’re forgiven if you take a look outside, shake your head, and suspect that winter actually started a few weeks ago.

Subscription required to view full article.

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