I did a little surfing of my own to compile this post celebrating the Winter Solstice the facts are taken from http://mashable.com/2013/12/20/winter-solstice-2013/
1. It happens at a specific time
The winter solstice isn’t the full day of Dec. 21, but rather occurs at a specific time. At that point, the sun is shining farthest to the south, directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. There’s no duration to the event, per se.
Of course, the sun isn’t actually moving, the Earth is. At 12:11 p.m. ET, the North Pole is tipped about 23 degrees away from the sun. When summer rolls around, the South Pole is tipped 23 degrees away from the sun. During the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the Earth is not tilted in either direction.
2. It happens at a different time each year
The winter solstice doesn’t always occur on Dec. 21. Sometimes it comes on Dec. 22, which will happen again in 2015. The hour of day also fluctuates. Last year, the solstice came at 11:12 a.m. ET. Next year, it occurs at 11:03 p.m.
3. The meteorological winter began three weeks ago
If it feels like winter has already begun, you are correct. Meteorologists consider Dec. 1 the start of the meteorological winter and March 1 the start of the meteorological spring. That’s because December, January and February are the three coldest months of the year. By the time the Spring Equinox rolls around on March 20, 2014, average temperatures in most areas will have already started rising. The winter solstice isn’t the coldest day of the year, either — that comes later.
In the UK, the precise time of the solstice will be 5.11pm on Saturday December 21st 2013. The solstice, regarded as the beginning of the winter season, occurs when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. For the next six months, the days will continue to grow longer as the sun spends more time above the horizon.
How do people celebrate it?
The winter solstice is a major pagan festival, with rituals of rebirth having been celebrated for thousands of years.
Every year revellers gather at Stonehenge to watch the sunrise on the shortest day.
Many of the traditions we now think of as being part of Christmas -including Yule logs, mistletoe and Christmas trees – have their roots in the pagan celebrations of winter solstice.
Facts from www.themirror.co.uk