Friday 27 November 2009
Today is the winter solstice.
Today, at 17:47 GMT, the northern pole of the axis of the earth's rotation is pointed the furthest away from the sun. I apologise for the clumsy nature of my explanation. If you google winter solstice, I'm sure you'll find articulate astronomommerists explaining it better.
It was a festival, signifying the point of the year when the days no longer became shorter, and instead start to lengthen, it's truly the end of one year, start of another, depite the fact that our calendar's a bit out of synch. The Christian church mysteriously chose to hold its major festivals at the same time as the pagans held theirs, the choice of the 25th december to celebrate Jesus' birth is not underpinned by any date evidence in the bible.
(As far as I can determine, the bible scholars pin his birth to mid-september 2 B.C.)