The Philippine Star

Longest night of the year on Dec. 21

- – Helen Flores

The Philippine­s and other countries in the northern hemisphere will experience the longest night of the year during the winter solstice on Dec. 21.

The winter solstice takes place when the Earth reaches its maximum tilt on its axis away from the sun.

“The astronomic­al event signals the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere,” the Philippine Atmospheri­c,

Geophysica­l and Astronomic­al Services Administra­tion (PAGASA) said.

“Philippine nights will be longer than daytime. Earth has now completed another annual circuit around the sun,” it said.

Many cultures still celebrate the longest night of the year.

In Japan, people light bonfires to encourage the sun’s return, according to the website of television network, History.

The Chinese celebratio­n of the winter solstice is called Dong Zhi, which means “winter arrives,” it said.

In Poland, people celebrate the astronomic­al event by showing forgivenes­s and sharing food – a tradition that can still be seen in what is known as Gody, the website timeanddat­ said.

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