The winter solstice, which is when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted its farthest from the sun, will occur Monday night in the United States.

Winter Solstice 2015

At 11:48 p.m. ET tonight – 10:48 p.m. CT, 9:48 p.m. MT and 8:48 p.m. PT – the winter solstice will take place. The winter solstice marks the longest night and the shortest day of the year. It also marks the astronomical beginning of winter, though the meteorological start of winter was Dec. 1.

After the winter solstice, days will gradually become longer and nights shorter. Though there might be an incremental increase in daylight, the coldest months are ahead in the Northern Hemisphere.

Meanwhile, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing its longest day of the year and is kicking off its astronomical summer, as the Sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn and close to the horizon.

For the winter solstices in the Northern Hemisphere, there are large celebrations at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. While druids and pagans make up a share of the revelers, others share in the celebrations at the prehistoric monument as well. The rock formation was constructed in such a way as to be aligned on a sight-line that points to the sunset during the winter solstice. Due to time differences, the winter solstice in the UK takes place on Tuesday.

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