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 327 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.
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What is the First Day of Winter?

Winter afternoon. Photo: flickr.com/photos/22746515@N02/5277611659Winter afternoon
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.

Astronomical winter

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.

Meteorological winter

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.

Further reading:

Comparison table: meteorological spring vs. astronomical spring

Dates shown apply to the Northern Hemisphere and are based on UTC (GMT)
Sea­son Start End
Mete­oro­logi­cal Astro­nomi­cal Mete­oro­logi­cal Astro­nomi­cal
Spring March 1 March 19 to 21
Spring equi­nox
(vernal equi­nox, March equi­nox)
May 31 June 20 to 22
Summer sols­tice
(June sols­tice)
Sum­mer June 1 June 20 to 22
Summer solstice
(June solstice)
August 31 Septem­ber 21 to 24
Autumn equi­nox
(Fall equi­nox, Septem­ber equi­nox)
Au­tumn
(Fall)
Sep­tem­ber 1 Septem­ber 21 to 24
Autumn equi­nox
(Fall equi­nox, Septem­ber equi­nox)
Novem­ber 30 Decem­ber 20 to 23
Winter sols­tice
(Decem­ber sols­tice)
Winter Decem­ber 1 Decem­ber 20 to 23
Winter sols­tice
(De­cem­ber sols­tice)
February 28 (29) March 19 to 21
Spring equi­nox
(vernal equi­nox, March equi­nox)

When is the First Day of Winter 2024?

The First Day of Winter 2024 is on Saturday, December 21, 2024 (in 692 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 ...? Date      Day of the week      Days away     
First Day of Winter 2018      December 21, 2018      Friday      1500 days ago
First Day of Winter 2019      December 22, 2019      Sunday      1134 days ago
First Day of Winter 2020      December 21, 2020      Monday      769 days ago
First Day of Winter 2021      December 21, 2021      Tuesday      404 days ago
First Day of Winter 2022      December 21, 2022      Wednesday      39 days ago
First Day of Winter 2023      December 22, 2023      Friday      in 327 days
First Day of Winter 2024      December 21, 2024      Saturday      in 692 days
First Day of Winter 2025      December 21, 2025      Sunday      in 1057 days
First Day of Winter 2026      December 21, 2026      Monday      in 1422 days
First Day of Winter 2027      December 22, 2027      Wednesday      in 1788 days
First Day of Winter 2028      December 21, 2028      Thursday      in 2153 days
Data provided 'as is' without warranty

First Day of Winter 2023
Dates of the First Day of Winter 2023 and surrounding years as downloadable image file

Printable 2023 Calendars for Word, Excel and PDF


Calendar templates 2023 for Word, Excel and PDF

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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