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Brooklyn, the Winter Equinox is Here!

The sun will set at 4:31pm on Dec. 21, making it the shortest day of the year with a little more than nine hours of sunlight.
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A lantern festival will light up Domino Park on Tuesday night. Photo: Supplied.

Break out the cocoa and cozy socks, Brooklyn — the darkest day of the year is here!

The winter equinox occurs when the Earth's poles reach their maximum tilt away from the sun.

Also called the winter solstice, people all over the northern hemisphere will gather with friends and family on Dec. 21, despite the wintery temperature, to create their own light on one of the darkest days of the year.

In Brooklyn, here's how to celebrate: Brooklyn’s Secret Lantern Society is holding its third annual Winter Lantern Festival and Spiral of Light at Williamsburg’s Domino Park. The group has posted lantern-building tutorials to its website and is encouraging people to bring their own lanterns or whatever light they wish.

The Secret Lantern Society was formed in 2020, and Secret Lantern Society member Debra Sheldon told BK Reader the launch was a response to a time when many had suffered from job loss, separation from family and friends and the stress of uncertainty.  

“We felt it was a potent time to honor this and offer a space where people can reflect on the darker days while making a wish for the coming season and year,” Sheldon said.

On Dec. 21, the sun will set at 4:31pm. Beginning Dec. 22, the sun will set slightly later each night, giving Brooklynites more daylight during the slow ascent to spring.