Winter Solstice: 6 things to know

Winter Solstice: 6 things to know

(KFVS) - Winter Solstice marks the beginning of winter and is the shortest day of the year.

On Dec. 21, it seems as if the nighttime darkness lasts all day and all night. At the North Pole, the sun never rises on this day.

It is not the coldest days of winter, as the northern hemisphere continues to lose more heat than it gains. This will continue until late in winter, as the longer daylight hours at that point begin to have a net warming effect.

While the northern hemisphere is experiencing it's shortest day, the southern hemisphere is basking in sunshine and enjoying the first day of summer.

For thousands of years, Winter Solstice has celebrated the new solar year.

It celebrates the return of the sun, as every day now will see more sun.

The sun is at its southernmost point, and now begins it's long, six-month journey north.

Winter Solstice is also been known as Christmas, Yule, and Saturnalia.

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Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved. CBS contributed to this report.