In 2019 the winter solstice will occur on Sunday 22 December, the website of the Royal Museums Greenwich advises us (visit their beautiful page)…
It’s the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere: the December solstice can be on December 20, 21, 22, or 23, when the North Pole is tilted farthest from the Sun…
Letter to The Spectator of 7/12/2019:
“Sir: Andrew Marr asked in last week’s Diary why the weather is “almost always at its best shortly after dawn”. As a lifelong sailor, I would say it’s because the sun always shines, even on a cloudy day, briefly, as it rises from the horizon, because the cloud base is invariably above the horizon. The early bird experiences colour and light before the sun is hidden behind clouds. Ditto at dusk for the same reason.
Dick Durham, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex”
From The Phrase Finder website:
“The English theologian and historian Thomas Fuller appears to be the first person to commit the notion that ‘the darkest hour is just before the dawn’ to print. His religious travelogue A Pisgah-Sight Of Palestine And The Confines Thereof (1650) contains this view:
It is always darkest just before the Day dawneth.
The source of the proverb isn’t known. It may be Fuller himself, or he may have been recording a piece of folk wisdom.”