Early tomorrow morning brings the winter solstice. Yes, this is referred to as the "shortest day of the year." Better yet, let's call it the point when the days get "longer," i.e., the amount of daylight starts to increase.
That brings us to Chanukah and Christmas, which begin around the same time this year. Chanukah begins on the 24th at sundown; the date is primarily based on the lunar cycle. Christmas Day is symbolically celebrated on the 25th, as it has been since the 4th century. To all who celebrate, we wish you a Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas!
With all good wishes,
Your Almanac Editors
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
–Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Winter Solstice 2020: The First Day of Winter The winter solstice happens on Monday, December 21, 2020. This is the astronomical first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest day of the year. What happens at the winter solstice? Why is the solstice important? Enjoy solstice facts and folklore...
The Star of Bethlehem Some things just don’t belong together, like the Three Stooges at an art opening. Yet this month, planetariums around the country try to blend religion and science by presenting their annual Star of Bethlehem show. And this year, it’s front-and-center thanks to the rare spectacular Great...
Get the recipes that folks rave about! We invited Almanac readers to share their best recipes—the favorites served at family gatherings, potlucks, parties, and supper tables. You’ll love the heartwarming, humorous, and true stories that these cooks tell, too!
Christmas Facts and Trivia Where did the phrase “Jiminy Christmas” come from? What about “Godspeed”? Why do some people write “Xmas”? The answers may surprise you! Enjoy Christmas facts and trivia about the festive season.
Christmas Day 2020 Christmas occurs on a Friday this year! Discover why we celebrate Christmas Day on December 25, the symbols of Christmas, and a brief history of Christmas. Plus, let’s bring Christmas alive with recipes, crafts, poetry, and customs from around the world!