5 Fun and Intriguing Facts About the Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is the day that marks the official beginning of winter. Since ancient times, cultures across the globe have praised both the winter and summer solstice as events characterized by supernatural forces and increased energy flowing around. But there’s so much more to the shortest day of the year. Check out these fun and intriguing facts about the day.

Winter Solstice Fun Facts

Five Fun and Intriguing Facts About the Winter SolsticeRead on and learn something new and exciting about the event. Don’t forget to share these fun facts with your friends and family, they’ll be amazed!

The Meaning of the Word ‘Solstice’

The word ‘solstice’ has interesting roots. Some experts claim the word comes from two Latin words, which mean ‘sun’ and ‘stand still.’ During the winter solstice, the angle between the sun’s rays and the equator seems to stand still, which is why ancient people might have thought it was a good idea to name the event that way.

Surprisingly Short in Duration

Many people believe the event lasts throughout the day, but it actually doesn’t. It’s but a blip in time. This year, for example, the shortest day of the year began at precisely 4:48 p.m. EST.

Ancient Beliefs About the Winter Solstice

As we mentioned above, the shortest day of the year has been celebrated for centuries. Individuals across cultures would throw feasts and celebrations to mark the holiday and the beginning of winter. Traditional symbols of the event are thought to be fire and light. Some claim that our modern-day idea about Christmas might hold its origin in celebrations for the shortest day of the year.

Not Everyone Celebrates at the Same Time, Apparently

While some people celebrate the shortest day of the year, the other side of the world doesn’t. When one side of the globe celebrates the shortest day, the other commemorates the longest day.

Strikingly Shorter Than Its Counterpart

Believe it or not, the shortest day of the year is as many as 9 hours shorter than the summer solstice. During the winter solstice, the day lasts for just 7 hours and 50 minutes, while it’s 16 hours and 38 minutes on the longest day of the year.

How to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

The shortest day of the year is marked by traditional rituals. Some of them include brewing drinks and eating specific treats to celebrate the date. Many individuals light lanterns to commemorate the day, following the ancient tradition of the event. An interesting thing you can do to celebrate the occasion is decorating a tree outside for animals to eat. Bring the kids and decorate a tree outside with edible ornaments for birds and other critters to eat. There are plenty of edible ornament ideas on the web. Just make sure not to include any plastics!

These Carbon-Plated Running Shoes Are Like Powerful Strapping Rockets

It’s been nearly five years since Nike released the Vaporfly series, a high-performance, ultra-lightweight, shoe with the latest secret weapon in running technology: a full-length carbon-fiber plate tucked between all that foam to boost spring in every step, amp up energy return, and shave seconds off the clock. Carbon-plated running shoes are now ubiquitous—on the roads, trails, and track—with every major footwear maker touting its current flagship pair.

These Carbon-Plated Running Shoes Are Like Powerful Strapping RocketsThe value of carbon-plated shoes has been validated by rigorous testing and a fresh wave of smashed world records, which can deliver a whopping 4% gain in the running economy. For elite athletes, it might mean the difference between earning a gold medal and missing out for the Olympic team—or between winning a race and breaking a world record.

There’s proof that the plate works: Both men’s and women’s 10K, half-marathon, and marathon records have fallen dramatically (and again) in the last three years, with innumerable fastest times registered by aficionados.

Carbon-Plated Shoes for Faster Times

While all this record-breaking may have sparked a fresh “mechanical doping” discussion (Is carbon-plated running cheating if it helps you take three minutes off a marathon time? ), no prohibitions are in place—and carbon shoes are now predictably popular with runners of all abilities with PBs to pound past. So, which new carbon kicks should you be aware of?

VECTIV - Carbon-Plated Shoes for Faster TimesHoka One One Bondi X and The North Face Flight VECTIV are two new pairs that debuted in summer/fall 2021. People put them both through their paces and are satisfied with the results after 62 miles on the road and trails.

Remember when no-drop minimalist shoes, like those strange rubber-toe-sock-shoe hybrids, were all the rage in the running community?

Those never gained traction with core trail runners looking for a more responsive, supportive, and comfortable fit for high mileage and significant vert over rugged, tricky terrain, but they did prompt The North Face to reply with the Flight VECTIV trail shoe.

The VECTIV Shoes Tick All the Boxes!

VECTIV boosts bounce while decreasing impact caused by rocks, roots, and steep descents thanks to a 3D-molded heel, rockered midsole, 0.23-inch heel-to-toe drop, and dual-density foams. This shoe ticks all the boxes for a top-tier trail runner, with a robust upper, reinforced toe cap, and huge lugs for greater traction.

An athletic girl putting on VECTIV shoesThe carbon-plated material, of course, is the VECTIV’s most notable component, as it contributes to both stability and visible propulsion. The North Face is claiming that this new release is their fastest trail runner yet, which is a bold claim given that its elite athletic team appears to have a competitive advantage based on recent performances.

The VECTIV feels active and sensitive to the rest of us, keeping your legs fresher and longer. On loose, technical singletrack, the increased pop in each step provides speed, while the beefy tread and snug fit add security.

The Bondi X won’t be available until this fall, but we’ve been wearing a prototype pair for many (many) miles this summer.