Today, Dec 21st, is the first day of winter 2021. The winter solstice — an event in which a the earth’s poles are most extremely inclined toward or away from the sun — will be at 10:59 am EST (which is 12:29 pm IST).
The Webster defines a solstice as
1: either of the two points on the ecliptic at which its distance from the celestial equator is greatest and which is reached by the sun each year about June 21 and December 21
2: the time of the sun’s passing a solstice which occurs about June 21 to begin summer in the northern hemisphere and about December 21 to begin winter in the northern hemisphere
The earth is closest to the sun around Dec 21st (winter in Northern hemisphere) and furthest around 21st June (winter in the Southern hemisphere.)
Etymologically, the word solstice is from Latin which means “the sun standing still.” The sun’s apparent motion in the sky changes directions. That means when the change happens, it momentarily stands still and then gets moving again in the opposite direction.
Check out the post on Winter Solstice 2020. It is quite good.
Happy Winter Solstice to you in the North and happy Summer Solstice to you in the South.