It just so happens that not all days are created equal - and of all the months, December is when we get the most value out of our days.
Starting Friday, the sun will be up for a few seconds longer each day, signaling the start of our slow but steady march toward spring.
Stonehenge in England is a neolothithinc monument of large stones, set to record the seasons of the sun, that is nearly 5,000 years old, more recent in cultural history is that during the time roughly, the Romans held their raucous Saturnalia, which was a "good bye to flesh" before the relatively leaner times of the winter.
Earth's axis of rotation is tilted 23.5°.
What's the difference between a solstice and an equinox?
As Google points out, the winter solstice is technically a single moment "when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn".
Though the distance in the orbit varies, remember the TILT of the Earth is responsible for the change in seasons.
Most years, it falls on the 21st in the United Kingdom, but sometimes it lands a little bit off-kilter, because it takes the Earth 365 and a quarter days to go around the sun.
As such, the solstices occur at the extremes of the Sun's orbit. But how?Other useful, but imaginary, lines around Earth that are parallel to the Equator are called lines of latitude. This tilt is the cause of Earth's seasons.
Kepler's second law of planetary motion, tells us that the Earth will be moving faster when it's closest to the Sun (at perihelion) and slower when it's further away from the Sun (at aphelion). Once the summer solstice passes, we do it all over again. Say goodbye to shorter days, and ever so slowly start to welcome back more sun as the winter solstice arrives on Thursday.
Although the day symbolises the death of the old year, this is by no means a solemn occasion, with druids celebrating the renewal of life and rejoicing in a moment of seasonal rebirth. This will continue until late in winter, as the longer daylight hours at that point begin to have a net warming effect.
Admittedly the difference in a solar day is fairly small.
This extra quarter day is why we add a day to the calendar every four years with a leap year - to stop the dates drifting gradually through the seasons.