Winter Solstice 2017 in Northern Hemisphere will be at 11:28 AM on Thursday, December 21
Article Adapted from the following sites History.com, Inverse.com, & RD.com
The winter solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, it takes place between December 20 and 23, depending on the cycle. (The reverse is correct in the Southern Hemisphere, where the shortest day of the year occurs in June.) However, contrary to popular belief the winter solstice is not a day instead a specific moment in time when the sun is above the Tropic of Capricorn, a circle of latitude below the equator. After the winter solstice, days start becoming longer and nights shorter as spring approaches. Humans may have observed the winter solstice as early as Neolithic period—the last part of the Stone Age, beginning about 10,200 BC. until the present day.
While Western Christian societies might associate the holiday with the general Christmas season, pagan religions in Europe, Middle Eastern societies, and Native American cultures have celebrated the long night with feasts, drinking, dancing and all manner of revery and ritual for millennia. Fire and light are traditional symbols of celebrations held on the darkest day of the year. The winter solstice is the day of the year with the fewest hours of daylight, and it marks the start of astronomical winter.
Our planet is crooked: It tilts 23.5 degrees from vertical, to be exact. The craziest thing about this is that some astronomers think the planet’s tilt came from a massive collision that nearly vaporized the Earth and made part of it split off to become the moon. In the present day, a world without an axial tilt would be pretty dull. We wouldn’t have seasons, for starters. For part of the year, one side of the Earth spends more time pointed toward the sun, which is what we call summer. The days are longer and warmer. But for the opposite side, it’s winter, with its short, cold days.
Whichever pole is away from the sun is plunged into total darkness for several months, while the opposite pole has days with nearly endless sunshine. While we in the Northern Hemisphere are bundled up in our winter coats, our neighbors in the Southern Hemisphere are soaking up the summer sun's rays. Summer Equinoxes and Winter Solstices are opposite on opposite sides of the world.
So if you are looking to escape the cold, short days of the Northern Hemisphere's Solstice, pack your suitcase and head to the other side of the globe where the days are long and sunny.