City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Winter Solstice (Sunrise and Sunset)


By edg - Posted on 06 October 2018

Calton Hill in snow
Event details
Time: 
Friday, December 21, 2018 - 10:22pm

The Winter Solstice, the point at which we are tilted furthest away from the Sun in Earth's Northern hemisphere, is at 10.22pm on 21 December in 2018.

If you want to catch the fall and rise of the Solstice sun, it rises at 8.42am and sets at 3.40pm according to the UK Hydrographic Office.

The Winter Solstice brings the longest night, or shortest day in the year, with the sun setting before you've barely got your tea in. The shortest day usually falls on the 21st December or the day before or after the Solstice - there is very little difference in the amount of daylight hours (like a minute) on these days.

On the plus side, we can look forward to shorter nights and longer days in coming months.

Just as the Winter Solstice marks midwinter on the 21 December, the Summer Solstice, six months hence on the 21 June, marks midsummer.

As the daylight hours ebb and flow, the turning of the seasons is celebrated in the Edinburgh festivals of Samhuin and Beltane.

Other festivities around this time of year can be traced to the Winter Solstice including elements of Hogmanay and Christmas.