I had breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s with a client a few years ago. It was winter. Freezing. Snowing. Out of the blue, he asked me “What’s your favorite day in the year?” Hmmmmmm. . . . . I had to think about it though not for long. “Thanksgiving” I said “because I leave work early on Wednesday, Thursday is a family day and I eat until I keel over, I get Friday off – and I still have the weekend to recover.” My friend nodded solemnly and was silent. “Sooooooo Chris” I asked “what is your favorite day?” He responded immediately “December 22d.”
Now I’m not be the brightest light in the box but I do have a handle on the major holidays – and even a few minor ones. December 22d did not ring a bell. “Why, pray tell, do you like December 22d?” I asked. “Because” Chris said “that is the winter solstice. When days start getting longer.” (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_solstice ).
The winter solstice nearly always occurs on December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and June 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere. The sun begins to stay out longer. There are many festivals and celebrations that surround the winter solstice. For me, with the dog days of winter still ahead, it’s the “I wish I was Somewhere Warm” Festival. . . .