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What is the Longest Night of the Year

The longest night of the year occurs on the same day as the winter solstice. This occurs when the Sun is at the southernmost point in the sky for the Northern Hemisphere and northernmost point for the Southern Hemisphere. The actual winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, but the day that it occurs is known as the longest night, shortest day, midwinter or first day of winter. The winter solstice marks the time when the nights become shorter and the days longer. It has been a significant event in many cultures throughout history. Let’s take a look at when it takes place.

When is the winter solstice?
The winter solstice most commonly occurs on December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and June 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere. The following is a list of when the longest night of the year will occur in the next 8 years.

Northern Hemisphere

  • 2012 December 21
  • 2013 December 21
  • 2014 December 21
  • 2015 December 22
  • 2016 December 21
  • 2017 December 21
  • 2018 December 21
  • 2019 December 22
  • 2020 December 21

Southern Hemisphere

  • 2012 June 20
  • 2013 June 21
  • 2014 June 21
  • 2015 June 20
  • 2016 June 21
  • 2017 June 21
  • 2018 June 21
  • 2019 June 21
  • 2020 June 20

Did you know?
The exact date and time of the winter solstice changes each year because the Earth actually takes 365.256 days to orbit the Sun. This is the same reason that we have a leap year every 4 years!

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