..     DECEMBER SOLSTICE   ..     A Solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year as the Sun reaches its highest or lowest point relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere.     The term solstice comes from the Latin words 'sol' (sun) and 'sistere' (to stand still).     Some believe that different seasons are a result of the change in distance from the Earth to the Sun.     It is actually due to a 23-degree tilt of the Earth's axis that in which the Sun appears above the horizon for different lengths of time that cause the different seasons.     The tilt determines whether the Sun's rays strike at a low angle or a more direct angle.     On the solstice,   the Sun has reached its highest or lowest height in the sky above the horizon at local solar noon.     The seasonal movement of the Sun's path (as seen from Earth) comes to a stop on the solstice before reversing direction.       The event occurs in the Summer (known as the Summer Solstice,   Aestival Solstice   or Mid-Summer Solstice) and the winter (known as the Winter Solstice,   Hibernal Solstice,   or the Mid-Winter Solstice).     The summer solstice is the time of the year when the sun stops its northern climb,   holds briefly,   and starts turning back toward the equator.     The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year.     On June 21st and June 22nd,   The Northern hemisphere will have their most hours of daylight but the Southern Hemisphere will have their fewest.     Starting around March 21st,   there are more hours of daylight then darkness in the Northern Hemisphere,   and the opposite in the Southern.     Starting around September 24th,   there are more hours of darkness than daylight in the Northern Hemisphere,   and the opposite in the Southern.     After June 21st,   the days will gradually grow shorter until December 20th (the winter solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere.     In the Southern Hemisphere the days will get longer after June 21st until December 20th (the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere).     The Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere,   and the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere are also collectively known as the Northern Solstice or the June Solstice.     The Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere,   and the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere are also collectively known as the Southern Solstice,   or the December Solstice.     To avoid confusion,   the terms June Solstice and December Solstice will be used going forward.     The December Solstice is usually on December 21st,   but is usually on December 22nd on the year before a leap year (2015, 2019, ect..).             ..     CELEBRATIONS CLOSELY RELATED TO THE DECEMBER SOLSTICE   ..     In Christianity ..  ,   Christmas is held on December 25th.       In Mithraism and Zoroastrianism,   Yalda,   also known as Shab-e-Yalda,   is the night of the birth of Mithra,   Persian angel of light and truth.     At the morning of the longest night of the year the Mithra was born.     Celebrations are held on December 20th or 21st.         In Rome ..   ,   Saturnalia is a festival of light proceeding the winter solstice,   with candles symbolizing the quest for knowledge and truth.     Often servents were treated by their master's to a meal on this day.       Among Slavs,   Korochun was celebrated by pagan Slavs on the longest night of the year and the night of the winter solstice.     The holiday was observed with ancestor worship.     In Judaism ..  ,   Hanukkah (Chanukah) is observed for eight nights and days,   starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar,   which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.       Among African-Americans in The United States and Among the Western African Diaspora ..  ,   Kwanzaa was a celebration that has its roots in the black nationalist movement of the 1960s,   and was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation and study of African traditions and Nguzu Saba,   the "seven principles of African Heritage" which Karenga said "is a communitarian African philosophy".       Yule was an indigenous midwinter festival celebrated by the Germanic peoples,   celebration as lasting 12 days,   beginning on the date of the winter solstice.   or begins at sundown on December 20 and ends at sundown on January 1 in the Urglaawe faith,     On the Winter Sostice among Wiccans.   The celebration also has noted observations in Norse,   Gothic,   Anglo-Saxon,   and Celtic peoples ..  .       Among Buddhists ..  ,   Sanghamitta Day,   also known as Uduvapa Poya or Uposatha Poya is celebrated every year on the Full Moon day of December in Sri Lanka .. India .. Burma .. China .. and Thailand ...       The Dōngzhì Festival   or Winter Solstice Festival,   Dōngzhì means "the extreme of Winter",   it is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese ..   and other East Asians.           World Peace Day is Celebrated on the Winter Solstice ..