Winter Solstice 2011 at Stonehenge

The winter solstice will be celebrated on 22nd December. English Heritage will be allowing managed open access from 7.30am until 9am. Sunrise will be at 8.09 am.

Winter solstice is a celebration of the shortest day of the year and the longest night. The days will then get longer as summer approaches.

The actual date of the solstice depends on the year in the Gregorian Calendar. It can be as early as 20th December or as late as 23rd December.

The winter solstice occurs when the sun moves closer to the horizon than at any other time of the year. The word ‘solstice’ is actually Latin for ‘sun stands still’. The winter solstice is also known as Yule and it is celebration of the rebirth of the Sun.