Have you had enough of driving to work in the dark and commuting back home in the pitch black?

Well it is time celebrate because after today, our days will be getting longer and the nights, shorter.

Wednesday December 21 is the shortest day of the year and although many of you started wrapping up for wintry weather months ago, only today do we start to wave good bye to autumn and welcome in winter.

Google, as always, has not failed to mark the day.

This year their search page features a wintry doodle, welcoming web users to the start of winter.

But what is winter solstice and why do we celebrate it?

Druids, pagans and revellers gather to watch the sun rise

What is Winter Solstice?

Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year and marks the official start of winter.

It may be the darkest day of the year but from today, the countdown to Summer Solstice begins, when we enjoy the longest day of the year on Wednesday June 21 2017.

This year, Britain's shortest day of the year consists of just seven hours and 49 minutes of daylight.

Is it always on December 21?

Each year, Winter Solstice falls when the sun is tilted its farthest away from the North Pole at 23.5 degrees, directly over the Tropic of Capricorn.

It means we receive the fewest hours of daylight compared to any other day in the year.

The day differs every year however, and can fall on any day between December 20 and 23.


Winter Solstice is celebrated at Stonehenge in Wiltshire

Winter solstice celebrations date back thousands of years with pagans carrying out rituals of rebirth to mark the day.

Every year, pagans, druids and revellers welcome the sunrise in the centre of Stonehenge in Wiltshire.

And why Stonehenge? It is because when the monument was built around 3,000 BC, it was aligned in the direction of the winter solstice sunset.

Those gathering at the centuries old monument shared their experience over social media.

Today, the sun will set at 3.56pm. So wrap up warm, brave the cold and watch the winter solstice sun as it sets.

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