The Winter Solstice
The 21st Day of December, 2023
The shortest day and the longest night of the year
Winter solstice celebrations are a wonderful way to connect with our planet. Modern humans have lost that connection to the world around us - caught up as we are in our own lives and busy schedules. The longest night is a great way to reconnect with nature, with ourselves, and what it means to be a creature of the planet earth. We understand the truth that our planetary tilt has caused the sun to reach the lowest point on the horizon and the longest night is only a transition point. But in celebrating that transition, we celebrate ourselves. No matter what the time of year means to you or what other celebrations you participate in this time of year, remember to feel the living earth beneath your feet.
Bonfire or Candle Lighting
Big or small, the fire is used to symbolize the return of the light. Bonfires can be in fireplaces, fire pits, or in safe designated locations. For most of humanity's existance, we lived by the flame. But that doesn't mean you have to - use flameless electric candles instead of traditional to create that feeling of darkness and coziness. Use lanterns and luminaries for an enchanting magical atmosphere.
Feast with Family and Friends
Gatherings of those most important to us are the best way to connect. Try to incorporate seasonal and local ingredients. Or try a potluck-style dinner where everyone can contribute a dish. Breaking bread and feasting with loved ones is a time honored tradition that we carry with us our entire lives.
Reflect and Set Intentions
Personal reflection is usual this time of year - we set resolutions and hope for a better year ahead. This year, try considering what you have achieved in the past year and what lessons you have learned. Set intentions and goals for the coming year and focus on your own growth and how you can make positive lasting changes to your life.
Nature Walk or Hike
Spend time enjoying the outdoors. A walk in a local park or a hike on a trail are great ways to experience nature. Consider going somewhere you have not been this time of year - like the beach or a botanical garden. Just because the season is winter doesn't mean there isn't beauty to behold. You will find the experience invigorating and grounding just by being in nature.
Create Solstice Decorations
What decorations symbolize the winter solstice to you? Snowflakes, the sun and moon, shiny orbs in bright colors, greenery, or lights? What ever connects with you. Gathering friends and family to use your hands in creating decor helps strengthen connections and makes wonderful stories and memories to share.
Host a Solstice Ritual or Ceremony
The winter solstice occurs at 10:27pm (eastern time). Consider creating a simple ceremony to mark the occasion. Meditation, singing, drumming, ringing bells, or an activity that holds significance to you personally or culturally.
Read or Share Stories
What are some things from your childhood that you can share with others? Do you have stories of this time of year that you always read? Gathering together to read or create stories in a great way to connect and reflect. It's also an easy way to pass traditions down.
The longest night means more time to see the stars! Consider a star-gazing party! If you have access to a place away from, bright lights, you have an opportunity to observe the night sky and all it's celestial glory! Don't forget that time in March of 2025 Saturn's rings will be edge on and we won't be able to see them for several months so this makes for a great time to see the rings in their glory!
Music and Dance
Creating a solstice playlist can be a fun activity. Enjoying live music with friends and family is another great way to celebrate. And of course, dancing is a wonderful and expressive way to revel in the returning of the light
Use the solstice as an opportunity to give back to the community. Consider volunteering your time or making a donation to a local charity.
The most meaningful celebrations are the ones that resonate with your personally. So whether you prefer quite introspection or a lively gathering with your favorite people, the winter solstice offers a unique and timeless time to connect with life around you.
What are your Winter Solstice celebrations?
I would love you to share in the comments!
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