New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: Winter Solstice is a natural phenomenon that occurs twice every year in each hemisphere of the Earth. Also known as 'Hiemal Solstice' or 'Hibernal Solstice', Winter Solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year and is known as the "first day of winter" in the Northern Hemisphere. In 2020, this unique astronomical phenomenon will occur on December 21.

What is Solstice?

'Solstice' is a Latin word that means 'stalled sun'. A Solstice occurs twice in a year -- Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice. While Summer Solstice is the longest day on the Earth, Winter Solstice is the longest night on the planet.

When is Winter Solstice this year?

Generally, Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere takes between December 19 to 23. This year, it will take place on December 21. In India, the Winter Solstice will begin from 3.32 pm, says timesanddates.com.

Fun fact about Winter Solstice:

Though Winter Solstice is known as the 'first day of winter', it also means the "return of more sunlight".

Here's why this year's Winter Solstice is special:

The Winter Solstice of 2020 is special because it will occur on a day when the Jupiter and Saturn will form the 'Great Conjunction'. The two planets come in conjunction when they have the same right ascension or celestial longitude and that is known as 'Great Conjunction'.

As per the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the 'Great Conjunction' will take place on Monday nearly after 400 years. It says that people will be able to watch without special types of equipment after the sunset.

"I think it's fair to say that such an event typically may occur just once in any one person's lifetime, and I think 'once in my lifetime' is a pretty good test of whether something merits being labelled as rare or special," said an expert while speaking to Associated Press (AP).

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma