Winter Solstice

Nehézségi szint: KÖZÉPFOK B1/B2 (Szerző: Chris Scully)

Sok kultúrában ősi népi szokás kapcsolódik a téli napforduló idejéhez, de vajon mennyit is tudunk pontosan erről az érdekes jelenségről? Olvassunk együtt az év legrövidebb napjáról:

Kulcsszavak – egészítsd ki a mondatokat a megadott szavakkal.

marked            Hemisphere        burial chamber          Druids           Paganism       lottery         worship        pretend

1 When you pray to a higher power this is known as _________.

2 Important days are often ________ by a celebration.

3 When you __________, you are acting like someone who you are not really.

4 A _______ ____________ is a room where dead bodies are stored in a religious way.

5 When you buy a __________ ticket you have the chance to win a big prize.

6 ____________ is the old nature religion.

7 __________ are the leaders of the old nature religion.

8 A ___________ is half of the earth, either North or South.


Scientific explanation of Winter Solstice

1.The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, when the sun appears at its most southerly position, directly overhead at the faraway Tropic of Capricorn.

2.It’s the opposite situation in the Southern Hemisphere. There, it marks the longest day of the year — and the beginning of summer in places such as Argentina, Namibia and New Zealand.

3.People from ancient times have built temples and monuments based on where the sun will be on this day – the 21st of December. The Earth goes around the sun. Imagine a line going through the Earth from north to south. Next imagine the line the Earth makes around the sun – roughly a circle. A normal earth would have this centre N-S line exactly 90 degrees to the circle. However, the Earth is not perfect, so it is off this vertical line by an angle of 23.5 degrees. It is this angle which gives us our seasons. When the Northern hemisphere is pointing towards the sun it is Summer there and Winter in the South. 6 months later when the Southern Hemisphere is pointed towards the Sun it is Summer there and Winter in the North. The Summer Solstice is the point in the Northern Hemisphere when the Sun is in its highest place in the sky and for the longest time, sun’s rays are farthest north over the Tropic of Cancer.

4.The midway points in the year, when the Earth is a quarter of the way through the year and three quarters of the way are also seasons but less extreme – the Spring and the Autumn. The precise days that mark these signposts are called Equinoxes. Then neither Hemisphere is pointing towards the Sun or away from it, but they are each on their way to being at one or other season Winter or Summer. During these Equinoxes the Sun is directly over the Equator. On those two days everyone has an equal length of day and night.

Celebrations of Winter Solstice in Britain

5.New Grange in Ireland is an ancient burial chamber that is built on the plans of the druids and nature religion -Paganism who worshipped the sun and God’s of nature at Yule- Winter solstice, and at other special times of the year decided by the Sun’s position in the sky. Nowadays it is so popular there is a lottery to get in.

6.The festival of Montol in Cornwall marks Winter Solstice (Montol Eve) with a mix of pagan traditions and more recent Christmas traditions that were once common throughout Cornwall. There is a community dance called ‘the Guise’ in which people dress up. This is based on a 19th century tradition when the rich dressed in poor clothes and the poor pretended to be rich.

7.StoneHenge is another famous sight connected with this tradition in Britain. It is thought to be around 5000 years old and is a giant stone circle. It is made up of enormous standing stones and at sun rise on this special day the sunrise makes a precise line through its centre. Generally, the celebrations are made up of lots of dancing, music, telling stories and poems and singing songs based on old folk tales of druidic origin.

Celebrations Around the world

8.People in Sweden also celebrate the relationship between light and dark at this time, in a similar way to in Britain – drinking and telling stories around bonfires. If you go into the arctic circle the Aurora Borealis can be seen in the night sky – ancient people believed these were the souls of dead relatives passing through from one world to another.

9.The ancient Mayan people of Mexico built temples following the theory of astronomy. The great centre of science was in the amazing city of Chichen Itza a place of columns and pyramids. Here there is The Temple of Kukulkan, with its 365 steps (one for every day of the year), an incredible example of the Mayans engineering skills.

Ellenőrző kérdések

1 What does Winter Solstice mark?

2 Which day does it fall on?

3 What is the season in the Northern Hemisphere if the earth is tilted towards the sun?

4 Over which line of the Earth is the Sun during the Equinoxes?

5 What is the Pagan name for the Winter Solstice?

6 What must you buy in order to have a chance to enter the chamber on this day?

7 In the festival of Montol, Cornwall, what will you be wearing and doing if you are in the “Guise”?

8 What is special about where the sun rays shine on Stonehenge on Winter Solstice?

9 What naturally special event can you see in the sky in the Arctic Circle, northern Sweden?

10 How do we know the Maya used study of the sun and astronomy when planning The Temple of Kukulkan?

Találd meg a szavakat a szövegben

1.The Zodiac region of the sky, which the sun is in when it is Winter in the Northern Hemisphere _______________ (para.1)

2.Statues built in remembrance of people or events are ___________ (para.2)

3.The study of the movement of the stars is called _____________(para.2)

4.The name of the twice-yearly event when the sun is directly over the Equator is called an ___________ (para.3)

5.We have our longest day in Summer when the Sun is farthest north over _____________ (para.4)

6.Man-made outdoor fires for the purpose of celebration _________ (para.7)



1 worship

2 mark

3 pretend

4 burial chamber

5 lottery

6 Paganism

7 Druids

8 Hemisphere

Ellenőrző kérdések

  1. The shortest day of the year
  2. 21st December
  3. Summer in the Northern Hemisphere
  4. Equator
  5. Yule
  6. A lottery ticket
  7. Wearing special clothes and dancing in the street
  8. It makes a direct line through the centre of the circle
  9. Aurora Borealis
  10. There are 365 steps representing each day of the year

Találd meg a szavakat

1 The Tropic of Capricorn

2 monuments

3 astronomy

4 Equinox

5 The Tropic of Cancer

6 Bonfires


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