Solstice: the dark and bright side of life

The solstice is today. The 21st December marks the 2013 solstice, in which sun's position in the sky reaches its northernmost and southernmost extremes, as viewed from Earth.

This means that surfers living in the northern hemisphere will enjoy the shortest day and the longest night of the year. It will happen at 5h11pm (UTC) for European and North American riders. Also, it symbolizes the beginning of the path to longer sunny days.

On the opposite side, Australians, South Africans and Brazilians celebrate the first day of summer, which is also the longest day of the year for them. It's time to enjoy late night surf sessions and prepare for warm summer parties.

The word "solstice" is derived from the Latin "sol" (sun) and "sistere" (to stand still). Egyptians and Syrians used to celebrate the winter solstice as the birth of the sun.

Solstice is also known as "summer solstice" and "winter solstice", but is better to call it solstice, as the "summer solstice" of one hemisphere is the "winter solstice" of the other. The dates for the solstices and equinoxes may vary from 20th-23rd, depending on the year.

Learn how do the moon and sun affect tides and surfing.