. By T.V. Antony Raj
The astronomical event known as the solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its highest or lowest excursion point relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. This event occurs twice a year.
On the day of the solstice, at local solar noon, the Sun appears to have reached its highest or lowest annual altitude in the sky above the horizon.
For any place other than the tropics the solstice day in summer is the longest day of the year, and the solstice day in winter is the shortest day of the year.
During the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, also known as the Southern solstice that occurs on December 21st to 22nd, the Sun at noon would appear at its lowest altitude above the horizon, namely, at its southernmost point in the sky. On the other hand, in the Southern Hemisphere, the winter solstice also known as the Northern solstice occurs on June 20th to 21st each year. On this day, the Sun appears at its northernmost point in the sky.
The axis of rotation of the earth directed towards the same point in the heavens is the result of its axial tilt and the gyroscopic influences of its daily rotation. As the Earth orbits around the Sun, the polar hemisphere facing the Sun encountering summer would after six months face away from the Sun to endure the winter.
The solstices last only a moment in time. This year, winter solstice would occur today, December 21, 2012 at 11:12 AM UTC (6:12 AM EST; 4:42 PM IST).
Worldwide, interpretation of the winter solstice varies from culture to culture. However, all recognize the rebirth of the Earth that involves religious festivals, rituals, and other celebrations. The following lists a few observance believed to be directly linked to the winter solstice.
- Beiwe Festival (Sami people of Fennoscandia)
- Brumalia (Roman Kingdom)
- Christmas, Natalis Domini (4th century Rome, Christian)
- Chawmos (Kalash people of Pakistan)
- Dongzhi Festival (East Asian Cultural Sphere)
- Deygān, Maidyarem (Zoroastrian, Greater Iran)
- Goru (Dogon people of Mali)
- Hanukkah (Judaism)
- Hogmanay (Scotland)
- Inti Raymi (Inca: Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador)
- Junkanoo, John Canoe, Dzon’ku ‘Nu (West Africa, Bahamas, Jamaica, 19th-century North Carolina, Virginia)
- Karachun (Ancient West Slavs)
- Koleda, Коляда, Sviatki, Dazh Boh (Ancient East Slavs and Sarmatian)
- Lá an Dreoilín, Wren day (Celtic, Irish, Welsh, Manx)
- Lenæa (Ancient Greece and Hellenistic Greece)
- Lohri (India)
- Saint Lucy’s Day, Lucia, St. Lucia (Scandinavia)
- Makara Sankranti (Hindu, India and Nepal)
- Maruaroa o Takurua (Māori people, New Zealand)
- Meán Geimhridh, Celtic Midwinter (Celtic, Ancient Welsh, Neo-druidism)
- Mōdraniht (Anglo-Saxon paganism)
- Mummer’s Day, Montol (Celtic, Cornish people)
- Rozhanitsa Feast (12th century East Slavs, Russia)
- Shab-e Chelleh, یلدا , Yaldā (2nd millennium BC Persian Empire, Iran)
- Sanghamitta Day (Buddhism)
- Saturnalia, Chronia (Ancient Greek, Roman Republic)
- Şewy Yelda (Kurdish)
- Sol Invictus Festival (3rd century Roman Empire)
- Soyal (Zuni people and Hopi people of North America)
- We Tripantu (Mapuche in southern Chile)
- Yule (Finnic and Germanic peoples)
- Zagmuk, Sacaea (Ancient Mesopotamia, Sumeria, Babylonia)
- Ziemassvētki (Latvia, Baltic states, Romuva)
This brings us to the Doomsday Prophecy attributed by some to the Mayan Calendar. Though the Mayans never predicted that the world would end today, December 21, 2012, some doomsday soothsayers have been touting all these days that around 80 percent of the world population would be wiped out on this fateful day. Many who believe these scare mongers have left their homes; they have traveled to places where they think their chances of survival will be better.
Ten hours ago, I read an article titled “Global doomsday hot spots draw believers, revelers” by Vanessa Gera where she describes some of the world’s key doomsday destinations and other places marked by fear and fascination.
- Global doomsday hot spots draw believers, revelers (news.yahoo.com)
- December 21, 2012: Hello World, Did the Mayan Prophecy Happen? (tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- December 21, 2012: YIPEE! THE WORLD IS STILL WHOLE!(tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- Day Before Yesterday NASA Released Video: “Why the World Didn’t End Yesterday” (tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- Forget the Mayan calendar. Now, please, worry about volcanoes (theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com)
- THE MAYAN PROPHECY IS not BULLSHIT (tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- Chinese Man Spends Life Savings to Build 80-Ton ‘Apocalypse-Proof Noah’s Ark’ (tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- Doomsday hysteria grips Russia (tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- The Truth about 2012 (tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- “What Ever Happened to the Millennium Bug?” by Grumpa Joe(tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- December 21, 2012: THE REAL DOOMSDAY? (Part I – a)(tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- December 21, 2012: THE REAL DOOMSDAY? (Part I – b)(tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- December 21, 2012: THE REAL DOOMSDAY? (Part 2) (tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- Asteroid 2012 DA14 Will Pass the Earth on February 15, 2013.(tvaraj.wordpress.com)