Along with bringing the longest night, the winter solstice brings with it National Flashlight Day on December 21. In some regions of the northern hemisphere, the darkness arrives prior to the solstice. As primitive as it sounds, a flashlight is extremely handy on this day (or night, as the case is). All you need is a good working flashlight with stable batteries.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL FLASHLIGHT DAY
Let’s shine a light on the history of the wonderful flashlight. Granted, with the advent of built-in flashlights on smartphones, the original tool isn’t used as much anymore, but the digital version still doesn’t hold a light (pun intended) to the real thing.
National Flashlight Day is celebrated on the shortest day of the year, welcoming the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. On this day, the Sun ‘stands still’, resulting in some regions experiencing more or less only 9 hours of daylight, whereas, further up north, areas like the Arctic Circle get no light at all. The roots of the word ‘solstice’ are Latin — meaning the sun standing still.
The origins of National Flashlight Day are unknown, but flashlights have served mankind a great deal. Illuminating our paths in the darkest of nights, flashlights are still widely used for investigations and groups like the scouts. In addition to the all-purpose flashlight, special variations have been adapted for activities like mining or camping. There are also underwater- and flame-resistant flashlights.
The flashlight was made possible by the invention of mini incandescent light bulbs and the dry cell, which made battery-powered flashlights a reality in 1899. The invention of the flashlight is owed to the American-British inventor David Misell. Modern flashlights used today utilize light-emitting diodes and mostly operate on rechargeable or disposable batteries. Recharging batteries using solar power is also a common feature on flashlights.
HOW TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL FLASHLIGHT DAY
Stay up all night
Organize a night-time poetry jam, music fest, or storytelling session and create a bit of ambiance using only flashlights.
Read a book
Curl up in your warm and cozy bed and read a book using a flashlight under the covers. Totally old school!
Charge your flashlight
It may have been a while since you have taken out your flashlight. Change the batteries, give the lens a thorough clean-up, and you’re good to go!
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