“Dies Natalis Solis Invicti”


Sol Invictus

Sol Invictus (“Unconquered Sun”) was the official  Sun God of the Romans, who celebrated  its birthday (Dies Natalis Solis Invicti)  on the winter Solstice, with a  lot of  candles symbolizing the quest for knowledge and truth.

It occurred on the eighth day before the Kalends (the first day of the  month): in the  Roman calendar, the eighth day before the Kalends of January (VIII Kal. Jan.), was  December 25.

It is the shortest day of the year, after which the light of day finally begins to lengthen. For Ovid, it was the first of the new sun and the last of the old

Most people think that the Solstice is a whole day . Actually, it is just the specific moment  when the Sun is exactly over  the Tropic of Capricorn.

The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning ‘the Sun stands still’, because on this day, the Sun seems to stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn before reversing its direction.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the December Solstice  indicates the beginning of  winter,  when the Earth is closest to the Sun.

We have to remember  that  the four seasons  are not defined by the distance  from the Earth  to the Sun, but by the angle of inclination. This  determines the amount of sunlight reaching  the Northern or Southern Hemispheres, causing  variation in temperatures and weather patterns.

Since we live in the Northern Hemisphere, the increase rate of daylight hours depends on our  latitude – in more northern latitudes  it is possible to see a rapid increase in daylight hours, if compared to  the one noticed in the more southern latitudes.

The latitude at Carate Brianza (Italy) is  45°40’28”  N

(The latitude of the Equator is 0°; the latitude of the North Pole is 90°)

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