As of 01:08 Eastern (06:08 UT), it ceased being Autumn and officially started being Winter. The days are now getting longer rather than shorter, which is happy news for everyone who suffers from seasonal affective disorder.
In days gone by, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21st through January. Huge logs called Yule logs were were burned until they went out, which could take as long as 12 days. As long as the log was burning, the festivities carried on.
If you were a cow, however, you probably didn’t look forward to the winter solstice because this was a popular time to slaughter cows — it saved having to feed them. On the upside (for everyone except the cows) people had a supply of fresh meat — a rarity in the times before refrigerators.