Today at 12:11 EST, for people in the northern hemisphere, the sun will appear to stop in its celestial journey south, pause, then over the next several days, slowly begin to rise again. This makes today the shortest day of the year for those of us living north of the Equator. Because of the tilt of the Earth's axis (the North Pole always points toward the star Polaris) as it obits the sun, we experience four seasons. The Winter & Summer Solstices mark the shortest and longest days of the year; the Spring and Fall Equinoxes mark the times when day and night are of equal length.
Humans have long noted the Winter Solstice as a time to celebrate the end of the sun's steady plunge toward the horizon, and the anticipation of the return of more light and longer days.
Winter on Ocracoke is a time to step back from the busy-ness of summer, reflect on our lives, and appreciate the beauty of our environment, and the joy of community. We decorate our homes and our village for Christmas, gather together at the Preservation Museum, the Community Center, the School, the Library, and the Churches to celebrate with candles, music, song, family, friends, and good food & drink.
You can read an informative article about the Winter Solstice here: http://www.nbcnews.com/science/winter-solstice-sun-stands-still-saturday-2D11770628.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1921 letter written by a former
slave, Harrison Williams, to Ocracoke native, Martha Ann Howard Wahab.
You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112113.htm.