winter solstice
Druids, pagans and revellers gather in the centre of Stonehenge, hoping to see the sun rise, as they take part in a winter solstice ceremony at the ancient neolithic monument of Stonehenge near Amesbury on December 21, 2016 in Wiltshire, England. Getty Images/Matt Cardy

Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, more specifically for people who live in the Northern Hemisphere. It also begins with Pagan's Yule celebration and falls on Dec. 21 or 22 depending on the exact location of the Earth.

The winter solstice occurs, the moment the North Pole is tilted furthest away from the sun – 23.5 degrees, to be precise. This year's solstice will occur at approximately 5:23 p.m. EST, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The day will feature just 9 hours, 53 minutes and 21 seconds of daylight. A full moon and a meteor shower will also accompany this year's winter solstice.

According to NASA, the full moon of December, called the Full Cold Moon, will arrive on Dec. 22. The last time a full moon coincided with the solstice was in 2010, and the next will be in 2094.

The word “solstice” comes from the Latin words “sol” for sun and “sisto” for “stop.” Ancient cultures view the winter solstice as a time of death and rebirth. Egyptians celebrated the return of Ra, the Sun god, on a daily basis. Ancient Greeks held a similar festival called Lenaea. The Roman Empire held Saturnalia celebrations. Scandinavia's Norsemen called the holiday “Yule.” Germanic peoples would celebrate the winter festival by honoring the pagan god, Odin.

The most prominent place to celebrate winter solstice is at Stonehenge, which attracts thousands of people every year. The Stonehenge is aligned to the sunset on winter solstice.

Here are some quotes to celebrate the wintrer solstice, courtesy Brainy Quote:

1. “The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.” — Gary Zukav

2. “It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.” — John Burroughs

3. “He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.” — John Burroughs

4. “I love the scents of winter! For me, it's all about the feeling you get when you smell pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread and spruce.” — Taylor Swift

5. “Of all the seasons, winter is the most conducive to the great art of dormancy. This art requires an appreciation of semi-consciousness: the beautiful and necessary prelude to sleep - a special pleasure in itself that is all too often neglected, under-valued or looked down upon.” — Michael Leunig

6. "The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?" — J.B. Priestley

7. “My favorite holiday memory was sitting at home all day in my pajamas during winter break for school, watching a bunch of old Christmas movies like 'Jack Frost' and 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' with my siblings and parents.” — Becky G

8. “Winter blues are cured every time with a potato gratin paired with a roast chicken.” — Alexandra Guarnaschelli

9. “I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn't show.” — Andrew Wyeth

10. “The spring, summer, is quite a hectic time for people in their lives, but then it comes to autumn, and to winter, and you can't but help think back to the year that was, and then hopefully looking forward to the year that is approaching.” — Enya