Celebrating Winter Solstice
Humans have hosted festivals and ceremonies honoring Winter Solstice for thousands of years. This act of coming together to celebrate the end of shorter days is a lovely tradition to consider weaving into your life. I’ve been reading about so many traditions; here are a couple of standouts:
For instance, this article shares:
“Yalda (celebrated in Iran) is marked by family gatherings, candles (originally fires lit all night), poetry readings and a feast to get through the longest night of the year. Nuts and fruits, including watermelon and pomegranates, are traditionally eaten—legend has it that eating the fruits of summer will protect you from illness in winter.”
Another interesting tradition shared:
“To honor the many cultural winter solstice traditions, Vancouver’s Secret Lantern Society created the city’s Solstice Lantern Festival. Participants can attend workshops to create their lanterns. On the night of the solstice, processions march throughout the city, culminating in fire performances. Attendees can also try to find their way through the Labyrinth of Light, a maze of 600 candles that invites visitors to let go of old thoughts and find new possibilities for the coming year.”
Looking for ways to celebrate in your home? I put this list together:
1: Prepare a nourishing winter feast with foods that warm your heart and soul.
A warm root veggie soup with fresh bread sounds perfect to me.
2: Dine by candlelight - the winter’s sunlight.
Oh how I love the warm glow of a lit candle.
3: Draw a Winter Solstice bath, adding essential oils to symbolize the energy of the Sun.
Citrus oils (orange or grapefruit are my go-tos)
4: Create something handmade that honors the Sun or the natural world.
A wreath made of pinecones, holly, or evergreen boughs
Paint or draw the Sun
5: My personal favorite - make a Winter Solstice Spiral!
The Pacific Northwest just experienced a cold snap that brought SNOW! To celebrate, I am going to create a Winter Solstice Spiral and encourage you to do the same. (Snow not required)
Head outside to gather some/all of the following
🔥Rocks you collected on adventures this year
🔥Herbs - like Rosemary
Gather these items from your collection:
Now, place these precious items in a spiral! You can create yours inside or outside - whatever works best for you.
Once it is done, light a candle and visualize walking through the spiral. If you have space to build a larger one you can walk through - go for it.
Remember, as you enter with things you’re ready to leave behind - this is an excellent opportunity to leave those in your spiral. Start fresh and focused in the new year. If you have chosen a Guiding Word for the year ahead, this is an excellent time to reflect on it.
Still need to choose yours? Check out this guide.
After this ritual, I encourage you to write your future self a letter sharing what happened in the year ahead and place it in a jar. Be sure to use language claiming it already has happened. “Dear Future Self, I love my new job. I enjoyed traveling to Europe and look forward to sharing the spectacular wine I picked up at that winery in Tuscany.” You get the idea.
Next year, on Winter Solstice, read it and see what manifested in your life.
Enjoy honoring this incredibly sacred day, Beloved.
Amen. Aho. Blessed Be.
ps. I will leave you with this final Irish tradition shared here:
“The 5,200-year-old Newgrange passage tomb and ancient temple are aligned to the winter solstice: A small opening above the entrance fills with light on several sunrises surrounding the solstice, gradually extending throughout the chamber to illuminate it. The dramatic effect lasts for 17 minutes. Although the exact reason why the tomb was created this way isn’t known, it’s speculated that it marks the beginning of a new year and the triumph of light over darkness. Today, visitors can apply for a lottery drawing to be inside the temple at the moment of the sunrise; others will gather outside the monument.”
Wow. Wow. Wow.
Forest Photo by Robin S on Unsplash
Pine Cone Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash