Winter Solstice Celebrations

The winter solstice, the day the “sun stands still,” marks the longest night of the year.  Celebrations honoring this moment of transition and renewal date back thousands of years.  Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, and Winter Solstice are all feasts of light that “teach” the sun to return in force.  Nix the electricity, sit together, sing together, jump over fire or candles with your wish for the year, burn the word that says what you want to be rid of, feast, relax.

Sprinkle glitter or cornmeal around a tree outside.  Leaf to leaf, root to root, seed to seed, may all that we have be all that we need.

Prune the dead branches from a tree or bush.  Deadwood, deadwood, cut away — strength and blossom come to stay.

Bake and eat a treat.  Into the oven we slide this treat.  May all hold close and life be sweet.

Hang the mistletoe.  Hug and kiss, hug and kiss.  May this whole house be full of bliss.

A reader tells me her family and their friends this year made a spiral of greenery on the play room floor lit by the kids’ glitter-encrusted candles.  After walking the mini-labryinth, they fed the roses (instead of spreading cornmeal) — because slim suntime makes the flowers need extra food.  Then they cut away the deadwood, slid their “sun bread” into the oven, and cuddled under the mistletoe — in the excitement, even the ten year old boys went along with this last part of the program!

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