Winter Solstice

By | Dec 21, 2009

The Winter Solstice occurs at the instant that the sun is the greatest distance away from the observer and their hemisphere.

The word solstice derives from Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).

During the Northern Hemisphere’s Winter, the earth is actually closer to the sun than in June/July. It is because the Northern Hemisphere is tipped away from the the sun during this period that it is colder.

Over the years many cultures have had ceremonies and rituals that related to the Winter Solstice. Many of these stemmed from the belief that if they didn’t perform these rituals that the failing sun would not come back without them.

One of these festivals that occur on or near the Winter Solstice Yule. This celebration is considered a pagan celebration when people created a large fire in a log (called the Yule log) and told stories, snag song and drank mead as a way to remember the past and to help the sun revive.

Even though the day is short and the night is long, it is good for it to be a day of celebration. A time to be with friends and family. A time to help those around you. A time when the days may be dark, but a time where one knows it will be much brighter ahead.


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