3 hours and 42 minutes: It is Winter Solstice in Fairbanks

Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 9:51 PM EST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Monday, December 21 is the Winter Solstice — the shortest day of the year and the official start of winter. The days will continue to get longer and longer as we head back towards the midnight sun. Soon, snow will melt and spring will be here. In Fairbanks, Winter Solstice means we saw approximately 3 hours and 42 minutes of daylight.

With temperatures dropping well below zero, and clouds obscuring a clear view of the Solstice, many Alaskans still came out to watch the sun take it’s short journey across the sky.

“Well winter solstice means ‘dzaanh ledo’ that means, ‘the day sits’ in Denakkanaaga which is Koyukon Athabaskan. And so we are just coming out of the short days of the year and then now we will start, begin daylight and it’s a nice time of year, it’s like the world is in balance,” said Susan Paskvan an Alaska Native who grew up in Koyukuk, Alaska.

Paskvan came up to the top of Ester Dome with her family to do a photo shoot during the solstice, sadly they said they will try again next year without the clouds. Their son, Jason, said that he is excited it is Solstice.

“It’s the shortest day of the year and it is always like sort of a mark of pride being so far north and being able to survive when we have so little light and it is also exciting because now we are getting more light, more time to spend outside and do activities,” Jason Paskvan said.

At the top of the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, many Alaskans parked their cars to watch the sun and think about what the new daylight will mean.

Joy Slicker moved to Alaska a year ago and is experiencing her first Fairbanks Solstice, “I look forward to it not being really cold and going outside with my dog and also getting in a camper and going kayaking in the summer.”

Bruce Mitchell, a 28-year resident, said he watches the solstice every year and dreams about summer, “That means snow is going to be going so I can go fishing again.”

Even though winter has just officially began, things are beginning to look brighter already.

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