Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service
Weird and wacky ways people celebrate the longest and shortest day of the year.
The shortest day of the year is upon everyone in the Northern Hemisphere on Thursday December 21, while the Southern Hemisphere celebrates their longest day at the same time.
Sunlight hours range from as little as zero in some northern parts of Alaska, to 14 in parts of Australia and South Africa.
Ancient cultures and rituals are still celebrated around the world, while new weird and wacky ways of marking the Summer and Winter Solstice are also dreamt up to entertain people.
In Austria, the traditional Krampus creature run wards off bad spirits while people gather at the prehistoric site of Stonehenge in England for sacred worship, song and dance.
Scandinavian girls celebrate the St. Lucia’s Day festival by wearing white dresses with red sashes and wreaths of candles on their heads to try and brighten up the gloom as temperatures plummet way below zero around the Arctic Circle.
Over in China, they feast on rice balls and meat dumplings to celebrate Dongzhi (“Winter Arrives”) while they burn huge bonfires on Mount Fuji in Japan to usher it in.
Iranians often stay up all night to wait for the sun to rise, which heralds the end of evil during the ancient festival of Shab-e Yalda (“Night of Birth”).
Peruvians stage mock Incan sacrifices to celebrate Inti Raymi (“Sun Festival”), while Australians just break out their surf boards on Sydney’s Bondi Beach in true fashion.
Locations around the world and their daylight hours on December 21:
Barrow (Alaska) – 0 hours
Nuuk (Greenland) – 4.06 hours
Reykjavik – 4.07 hours
London – 7.49 hours
New York – 9.15 hours
Tokyo – 9.44 hours
Abu Dhabi – 10.37 hours
Sydney – 14.24 hours
Cape Town – 14.25 hours