As the nights get longer and the days get colder, the winter solstice slowly approaches.

While many of us might not enjoy the longer nights, the festive sparkly lights help brighten up the night sky. 

But there is one day a year that will see the lights sparkle earlier than normal as the shortest day of the year is nearly upon us. 

The shortest day will see the least amount of daylight when compared to any other during the year. 

The day also marks the Winter Solstice, which many mark with a special celebration. 

When is the shortest day of the year? 

The shortest day occurs on the same day every year, with December 21 marking the special day. 

It marks the start of the astronomical winter, which is based on the earth's axis and how it orbits around the sun. 

Using the astronomical rather than metrological, which decides the weather, winter will end on March 20. 

On the shortest day, there will be only seven hours, 49 minutes and 42 seconds of daylight in London. 

What is the Winter Solstice?

Although the shortest day lands on December 21, the Solstice falls the day after on December 22. 

The day is marked at Stonehenge with the sunrise marking the start of the Solstice. 

According to Britannica, the Winter Solstice "marks the beginning of the season of winter, which lasts until the vernal equinox."