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Shortest day of the year: Winter solstice on Tuesday

Tuesday marks the winter solstice in Finland and the rest of the northern hemisphere. It's the day when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator. In practical terms it means Tuesday will have the shortest amount of sunlight of the year.

Aurinko nousee Rahkeenvedellä Joensuun Uimaharjussa.
Sun rising over Rahkeenvesi in Eastern Finland. Image: Esa Huuhko / Yle

Tuesday, December 22 marks the winter solstice in 2015. In southern areas the day will be longest; in Helsinki the sun will rise at 9:24 am and set at 3:13 pm.

However in the municipality of Utsjoki, in the far north of the country, the sun set on November 27 and will not rise again - for nearly another month - on January 17, 2016.

Every year the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere occurs on either December 21 or 22 – at the same time the summer solstice occurs in the earth's southern hemisphere.

If all of this darkness seems depressing, fear not. The worst of it is over.

From Wednesday until June 21 the days will gradually become longer once again.

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