From the combo of sol (sun) and sistere (cause to stand or stop) the solstice marks the highest or lowest points of the sun’s path in the sky each year.
In Summer, for instance, the sun’s arc in the sky stops going higher each day — at its highest point with the longest day— pausing before descending through the Autumn equinox of equal day and night — where the sun rises and sets exactly East and West — to its lowest point and shortest day at the Winter solstice. At that point — when you’re getting up in the dark and returning home in the dark — it will stop its descent and slowly climb higher each day once again towards the Summer solstice.
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