Source: The New York Times
On December 22, 2002 The New York Times reported that "last night was the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, a good opportunity to explore what New York City residents would do with an extended period of darkness -- 886 minutes, to be precise -- from 4:32 p.m. yesterday, when the sun set, until 7:18 a.m. this morning, when it rose again, according to Tim Morrin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. The solstice itself occurred last night at 8:14 p.m., Mr. Morrin said. In the northern hemisphere, it marked that bleak and lightless instant when the sun was furthest to the south in relation to the equator... many New Yorkers planned to celebrate the solstice as a joyous occasion. There was, for example, an afternoon of choral music and pagan rituals yesterday at the Musical Theater Works on Lafayette Street. The event was sponsored by the Coven Kyklos Ton Asterion, a Wiccan group, and the Four Winds Earth Chorus, which describes itself on its Web site as an volunteer organization created to perform and promote 'the sacred music of Pagan, Native American and Earth-Honoring peoples.'"