7:23 AM

4:14 PM

8 hours 12 minutes

The word solstice comes from the Latin, meaning “sun standing still”, and so it appears along the southwest horizon. In only a few days the sun will begin to creep back toward the north, setting due west on the first day of spring. These darkest days gave rise to many of the seasonal festivals we now have, as ancient cultures awaited the lengthening days ahead, with various candles and flames symbolically helping the sun.