Winter Solstice Today, Brighter Days Ahead Skip to content
Reykjavík pond downtown
Photo: Golli. Downtown Reykjavík.

Winter Solstice Today, Brighter Days Ahead

Today the sun reaches its lowest point in the sky all year, in the Northern Hemisphere. In Reykjavík, the sun rose at 11.22am this morning and set at 3.29pm, granting the city a day no longer than four hours and seven minutes. From today, the sun’s trajectory rises and days lengthen, heralding the coming spring.

While Reykjavík’s four-hour day may seem quite short, more northerly locales in Iceland will receive even less daylight today. In Bolungarvík, the Westfjords, the sun rose at 12.11pm today and set at 2.52pm, giving the town’s 930 residents a scant two hours and 41 minutes of day.

While Iceland’s mainland sits below the Arctic Circle, Grímsey island off its north coast stretches just past it. Grímsey’s 61 residents could watch the sun rise at 12.03pm today and set at 2.17pm, making their day shorter than the run time of beloved holiday classic Love, Actually.

Though some may choose to spend the darkest day of the year watching their favourite Christmas movie, the winter solstice has traditionally been celebrated around the globe with festivals and rituals since prehistoric times. In Iceland, most families will spend the coming days preparing for Christmas celebrations on December 24 and 25 – and looking forward to brighter days ahead.

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