National Flashlight Day – December 21, 2021

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TueDec 21

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.

National Flashlight Day timeline

1930s
China Loves Them

Flashlights soar in popularity in China, with about 60 companies producing them.

1899
Behold, the Flashlight!

David Misell invents the first flashlight.

1886
Breakthrough Invention

The first-ever dry cell battery is created.

1879
Invention of the Light Bulb

Thomas Edison invents the light bulb.

National Flashlight Day FAQs

What happens in the winter solstice?

Taking place twice a year, the solstice occurs once in each hemisphere — northern and southern. The shortest day and longest night is the winter solstice. 

 

Where do I find the flashlight on my iPhone?

You can find the flashlight in the Control Center on your iPhone, which can be accessed from your home screen. 

 

Do LED flashlights get hot?

Regardless of their color, all LED flashlights have a tendency to get hot if operated for an extended period. 

How To Celebrate National Flashlight Day

  1. Stay up all night

    Organize a night-time poetry jam, music fest, or storytelling session and create a bit of ambiance using only flashlights.

  2. Read a book

    Curl up in your warm and cozy bed and read a book using a flashlight under the covers. Totally old school!

  3. 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!

5 Illuminating Facts About The Winter Solstice

  1. Sun’s out

    There will be absolutely no sunrise at all on this day in Barrow, Alaska.

  2. We aren’t the first to celebrate it

    The winter solstice has been celebrated by many ancient cultures, from Rome to China. The Druids believed that the day signified the rebirth of the Sun. It seems the Sun needs recharging just like the flashlight does!

  3. Same time, same place

    The winter solstice occurs at an exact time on the exact day every year. Regardless of where you live, it occurs at a fixed time for everyone on Earth.

  4. Things that go bump in the night

    According to Zoroastrian folklore, the destructive spirits of evil are the strongest on this night.

  5. Perfect alignment

    The Stonehenge monument’s rock pillars align perfectly with the Sun on both the winter- and summer solstice.

Why We Love National Flashlight Day

  1. Nothing like traditional

    Digital inventions have replaced almost everything. It is good to be able to take out a household staple like the flashlight and have some fun with it on this holiday.

  2. Seriously though, flashlights are super handy

    You never know when the need for a flashlight may arise. National Flashlight Day reminds us to make sure the whole family knows where the torch is kept and to regularly check and replace its batteries.

  3. The solstice is hauntingly wonderful

    We don’t know about you but there is something chilling yet exciting about the winter solstice and the long night it brings. It encourages spooky activities.

National Flashlight Day dates

YearDateDay
2021December 21Tuesday
2022December 21Wednesday
2023December 21Thursday
2024December 21Saturday
2025December 21Sunday