Get to know ‘Winter Solstice’

Today, ACU PAY will take everyone to know about the “Winter Solstice”! Is there anybody who knows what Winter Solstice is? What is the origin of it? Let’s get to know more about it together.

What is WInter Solstice?

Each day, the sun appears in a different position by changing its position about 1 degree a day. From September onward, the sun gradually moves from a point perpendicular to the Earth’s equator down south. It can be noticed from the sky during this period that it gets darker faster and faster as the sun moves in the most southerly position on the Winter Solstice of each year.

“Winter Solstice” is the day with the longest night time and shortest day time. The sun rises at around 6.36 am. and sets at 5.55 pm. (Bangkok Time Zone) The total period of day time is only 11 hours and 19 minutes.

In addition, “Winter Solstice” is considered as the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere countries and the beginning of summer in the southern hemisphere countries.

The belief of Winter Solstice or Tawan Aom Khao

Thai people usually call the “Winter Solstice” as the “Tawan Aom Khao” phenomenon. The origin of this belief is about agriculture which is the lifestyle that has the most connection with Thai people. 

There is a legend that during the Tawan Aom Khao phenomenon, it was the time when the goddess of rice was pregnant. The sun therefore paid homage to the goddess by not orbiting over her head and changed the path to detour the south instead.

Moreover, Tawan Aom Khao is a sign for farmers to harvest because winter is coming. There are different customs related to the Winter Solstice in each region, for example;

  • The northeastern region: Boon Koon Lan Festival
  • The northern region: Kin Khao Mai Festival
  • The southern region: Giving Fire Alms Festival

The belief of Winter Solstice Abroad

The Winter Solstice belief – At Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument located in the middle of the Salisbury Plain in southern England, there are people with a belief and have passed on this belief since the Druid era. They gather to receive the sun on the day which officially enters winter.

Chinese people consider the Winter Solstice as an auspicious transition period to winter. In the past, the Winter Solstice Festival received a lot of attention as it was a year-end festival, it was called Dongzhi Festival. Chinese people would eat a dessert which looks like Bua Loi to warm themselves and they also made merit for good fortune. 

While Indian people believe that winter is a season of the afterworld which is not auspicious and it is the period when night is long. Therefore, there is no ceremony but will celebrate when the sun starts to move north into the Capricorn, called Makar Sankrani. There will be house cleaning, kitchen cleaning, or flying a kite.

Winter Solstice will occur on 21st or 22nd of December every year which is an important astronomical day. However, some people claim and connect to the apocalypse even though those are not related at all.

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ACU PAY Thailand

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