The shortest day, the longest night!

gente corriendo una maraton


This week Saturday perhaps can be considered as one of our holdays — it’s the winter solstice. Or equinox?! Which is which? Pay attention now, here goes. Let’s learn some vocabulary and then see a video.
Equinox is like “equal”; day and night are the same length. So that’s not it, is it? Must be solstice, then. The shortest day (or the longest night)of the year is on or around the 21st of December.
I’ve heard some people say the shortest day is Santa Lucia, on the 13th. So which one is it? You can’t have the shortest day on two days!
It turns out both are correct. The 13th was the date of the winter solstice in the old Julian calendar; the 21st in the Gregorian calendar commonly used today by most countries.
So in most places in the Northern Hemisphere it’s pretty cold at this time of year. We’re getting ready for Christmas or Hanukkah, or New Year’s, and thinking that the car feels like the North Pole when we get in it in the morning to go to work.
What does all this have to do with the picture at the beginning of the post? Well, following along these season lines, we’ve chosen a video about the North Pole for this week.
Enjoy the music, read the facts and pay attention to the picture to help you understand and remember some new vocabulary.
Here are some of the words you will see in the video:
  1. Frozen solid = an expression we use to mean really, really frozen. My feet are frozen solid!
  2. 10 feet thick = Thick tells you the espesor. 10 feet is about 305 centimeters
  3. Sheet = a material that is thin and large is a sheet. A sheet of paper. A sheet of ice on the street.
  4. 32º F This is the temperature that water freezes at.
  5. Sunrise = the moment when you first see the sun in the morning when it comes over the horizon.
  6. Sunset = The last moment you see the sun before it goes below the horizon.
  7. A mile is about 1.6 kilometers
  8. Zip code = Post code in the US
  9. Find their way = arrive
  10. A sled = a land vehicle you can use to go down a hill on the snow. Traditionally made of wood, today there are high performance, extreme sleds on the market.
  11. Icebreakers = here, big ships that break the arctic ice. In a conversation, an icebreaker is what you say to start the conversation when people don’t know each other.
  12. Brave = if you are not afraid, you are brave.
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Got those presents picked out yet?


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