Winter

Winter begins at the winter solstice when the Earth’s pole is pointing away from the Sun. Because the Earth’s pole is tilted about 22.5° away from the Sun, less sunlight is coming down on the hemisphere. By the time of the winter solstice, the weather has become decidedly cold – excluding the region between the tropics (of Cancer and Capricorn).

Because the Earth’s orbit is elliptical and not exactly heliocentric (the Sun is not the true centre), the Earth is slightly closer to the Sun during the northern hemisphere’s winter. This keeps the Earth slightly warmer during this period and also makes winter the shortest season in the north, at just under 89 days.
In the northern hemisphere, meteorologists, and most lay people, consider the months of December, January and February to be the winter months, even though they do not exactly coincide with the astronomical calculation of winter, which begins about 21 or 22 December. In the southern hemisphere, the winter months are thought to be June, July and August.

Commonly celebrated winter holidays include Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day and (in the US) President’s Day. This season is marked by snow, and has both peaceful and sinister characteristics.

Glossar

the winter solstice – zimní slunovrat
to point away from – směřovat od
decidedly – určitě, rozhodně
tilted – nachýlený, nakloněný
the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn – obratník Raka a Kozoroha
lay – světský
to consider – považovat, pokládat
to coincide with – shodovat se s
both … and – jak … tak
sinister – pochmurný, zlověstný

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