Difference Between Summer Solstice And Winter Solstice- Meaning, Definition

By Trisha Tewari|Updated : September 26th, 2022

The difference between summer solstice and winter solstice is essential to comprehend to gain complete cognizance of the core concepts of Geography. The summer solstice is the maximum tilt of the North pole Earth toward the Sun, while the term winter solstice defines the maximum tilt of the North pole of the Earth away from the Sun. The summer solstice is also renowned as the estival solstice, and the winter solstice is called the hibernal solstice. Accurate knowledge of the concept is required to be able to differentiate between summer and winter solstice.

The Northern Hemisphere experiences summers during the summer solstice, while the Southern Hemisphere witnesses winter. 21st June marks the occurrence of the Summer Solistice. The remarkable difference between the summer and winter solstice is that during winter solstice a major part of the Southern Hemisphere experiences summers. Get in touch with the article to gain knowledge about the meaning, definition and difference between summer solstice and winter solstice.

Table of Content

Definition Of Solstice

The term "solstice" refers to an astronomical event caused by the Earth's tilt on its axis and its orbit around the Sun. Some prefer the term 'sun turn,' which is a more Teutonic way of describing this celestial event. The term solstice comes from 'sōlstitium,' which means 'Sun standing still.

Download Difference Between Summer Solstice And Winter Solstice Notes

The summer and winter solstices are depicted by the Sun's position in the tropics, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice are two significant events in the world of Geography.

Difference Between Summer Solstice And Winter Solstice

It is important to know the difference between summer solstice and winter solstice. Both of these days have a remarkable significance and are quite important from Geography's perspective. Questions can be expected from these topics in the competitive exam. The summer solstice is the tilt of the North pole of the Earth toward the Sun, the winter solstice is the tilt of the North pole of the Earth away from the Sun. There are numerous differences between summer solstice and winter solstice, few differences have been laid here:

Key Difference Between Summer Solstice And Winter Solstice

Summer Solstice

Winter Solstice

The year's longest day and shortest night occur on the Summer Solstice.

The year's shortest day and longest night occur on the Winter Solstice.

The Summer Solstice takes place on 21st June every year

The Winter Solstice takes place in December. The dates might slightly vary every year. It usually marks it occurrence on 22nd June.

On this day, the Earth’s tilt is maximised towards the Sun

On this day, the Earth's tilt is away from the Sun to its maximum, and the North Pole is farthest away from the Sun

During the midday hour or the noon, the Sun reaches its peak elevation and remains stationary directly over the Tropic of Cancer, located at 23.5 degrees latitude north.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the Sun remains stationary over the Tropic of Capricorn, reaching its southerly declination of 23.5 degrees.

It is called as the estival solstice, deriving its meaning from the literary term aestival meaning summer.

It is renowned as the hibernal solstice, deriving its meaning from the term hibernal associated with winters.

Definition Of Summer Solstice

The summer solstice is the occurrence of an astronomical event that marks the year's shortest night and longest day. It marks its occurrence on 21st June. The sun's rays directly fall on the Tropic of Cancer. The summer solstice witnesses the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere.

Significance Of Summer Solstice

Since it marks the first day of summer or winter in the other hemisphere, this day is significant in many civilisations and traditions. Many rituals, celebrations, and functions are held to commemorate the occasion. The Summer Solstice was once thought to be in the middle of summer, especially in European countries. It is, however, the start of summer in northern countries. The fact that the summer solstice will fall on the same day as an annular solar eclipse, this year makes it even more remarkable.

Definition Of Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is renowned as the "hibernal solstice." The North pole of the Earth tilts away from the Sun, it is usually observed on 22nd December. The sun's rays directly fall on the Tropic of Capricorn. It marks the year's shortest day and longest night.

Significance Of Winter Solstice

The winter solstice was significant in ancient times because people's livelihoods depended on knowing how the seasons progressed. Starvation is widespread during the first months of winter, from January through April, and is known as 'the famine months.' The last feast celebration before deep winter is the 'midwinter' holiday.

Winter Solstice is known as Tropical Uttarayana in Hindu astrology. However, Sidereal Uttarayana begins on Makara Sankranti, and Devkal starts on this day, a favourable time to begin auspicious labour.

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FAQs on Differences between Summer and Winter Solstice

  • The major difference between summer solstice and winter solstice is that the summer solstice is the maximum tilt of the Earth toward the Sun, while the winter solstice is the tilt of the Earth away from the Sun. The summer solstice marks the year's longest day and shortest night. The winter solstice witnesses the shortest day and longest night.

  • During the summer solstice the day is the longest, and the night is the shortest of the year. In summer solstice the North Pole of the Earth is tilted maximum toward Sun. The Southern Hemisphere observes the shortest night. It marks its occurrence on 21st June. It is renowned as "estival solstice". During the summer solstice the Northern Hemisphere witnesses summer and the Southern Hemisphere observes winter.

  • The winter solstice is witnessed on 22nd- 23rd December. The North Pole of the Earth tilts away from the Sun maximally during the winter solstice. The winter solstice witnesses the year's shortest day and longest night. It is also known as "hibernal solstice." During the winter solstice, the Southern Hemisphere witnesses summer.

  • The summer solstice that witnesses the peak elevation of the Sun remains stationary over the Tropic of Cancer at 23.5 degrees latitude North. The Summer Solstice occurs on 21st June every year.

  • The winter solstice which is renowned as the hibernal solstice is when the Sun observes a stationary position in the Southern Hemisphere, over the Tropic of Capricorn at a declination of 23.5 degrees south. The date of the winter Solstice keeps changing. However, it occurs around 23rd December every year.

  • The summer solstice is called the estival solstice. The word "estival" determines the meaning associated with summers. The summer solstice is observed on 21st June.

  • There are numerous differences between summer solstice and winter solstice in terms of significance. Both astronomical events are an essential part of the Geography world.

    Summer Solstice- This day holds significance in many civilisations and cultures. It is commemorated through the festivities through numerous festivities and celebrations.

    Winter solstice- This day had a major significance in ancient times when the livelihoods depended on the progression of the seasons. Winter solstice is also renowned to be "Tropical Uttarayana" in accordance with Hindu astrology.

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