First Day of Winter 2023
When is the First Day of Winter 2023?
The First Day of Winter 2023 is on Friday, December 22, 2023
(in 21 days). Calendar for 2023
Please note: The dates given on this page are based on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which for practical purposes is equivalent to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). While Winter starts and ends at the same moment in time all over the Northern Hemisphere, the date of the First Day of Winter differs from location to location depending on a location's time zone. For more details see the explanations below.
What is the First Day of Winter?
The first day of winter marks the beginning of the winter
season, one of the four seasons that make up the year.
Astronomical winter vs. meteorological winter
There are various ways to define the start and end dates of winter. The two most commonly used ones are based on the astronomical calendar and the meteorological calendar. Astronomical and meteorological winter start and end on different dates.
In the astronomical calendar the start and end dates of winter are based on the changing position of Earth in relation to the sun and the resulting solar events of equinoxes and solstices. In the Northern Hemisphere autumn ends and winter starts at the moment of the December solstice
, which occurs every year between December 20 and December 23. Winter ends and spring starts at the moment of the March equinox
, which occurs every year between March 19 and March 21. In the Southern Hemisphere winter lasts from the June solstice
(June 20 to 22) to the September equinox
(September 21 to 24).
The start and end dates for winter given on this page are the dates of astronomical winter in the Northern Hemisphere and are based on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which for practical purposes is equivalent to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT - the time zone of the United Kingdom). While winter starts and ends at the same moment in time all over the Northern Hemisphere, the date and local time differ from place to place depending on the year and a location's time zone. For locations that are ahead of UTC (further east) it may fall on the day after, and for locations that are behind UTC (further west) it may fall on the day before. To find out the exact date and time of winter 2023 in your area use this seasons calculator
Meteorologists, on the other hand, define seasons based on climatic conditions and the annual temperature cycle. It is important for them to be able to compare the same period of time in different years. The length of the astronomical seasons varies between 89 and 93 days, while the length of the meteorological seasons is less variable and is fixed at 90 days for winter in a non-leap year (91 days in a leap year
), 92 days for spring and summer, and 91 days for autumn. While the exact definition of a season's timing and length can differ in different areas based on local conditions, in most of the Northern Hemisphere meteorological winter is generally defined as the three months of December, January and February, with the season starting on December 1 and ending on February 28 (29 in a leap year).
There is no "official rule" which definition of winter to use, and different countries adhere to different conventions. Most of North America and Europe use astronomical winter, while Australia and New Zealand use meteorological winter (however, as these countries are in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are opposed and winter there lasts from June to August). In other cultures, eg. in the traditional Chinese calendar and in Celtic traditions, the December solstice is considered to be roughly the middle of winter.
Comparison table: meteorological spring vs. astronomical spring
Dates shown apply to the Northern Hemisphere and are based on UTC (GMT)
When is the First Day of Winter 2024?
The First Day of Winter 2024 is on Saturday, December 21, 2024
(in 386 days). Calendar for 2024
Dates for the First Day of Winter from 2018 to 2028
The next occurrence of the First Day of Winter is marked in red
|When is ...?
||Day of the week
|First Day of Winter 2018
||December 21, 2018
||1806 days ago
|First Day of Winter 2019
||December 22, 2019
||1440 days ago
|First Day of Winter 2020
||December 21, 2020
||1075 days ago
|First Day of Winter 2021
||December 21, 2021
||710 days ago
|First Day of Winter 2022
||December 21, 2022
||345 days ago
|First Day of Winter 2023
||December 22, 2023
||in 21 days
|First Day of Winter 2024
||December 21, 2024
||in 386 days
|First Day of Winter 2025
||December 21, 2025
||in 751 days
|First Day of Winter 2026
||December 21, 2026
||in 1116 days
|First Day of Winter 2027
||December 22, 2027
||in 1482 days
|First Day of Winter 2028
||December 21, 2028
||in 1847 days
Data provided 'as is' without warranty
Free printable 2023 calendar templates
A selection of downloadable, printable calendar templates for 2023 with US federal holidays, suitable for a variety of applications. Available for Word, Excel and PDF.
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