Honoring the Solstice
Winter solstice traditions have been celebrated by cultures around the world since ancient times. Then, rituals and offerings encouraged the return of the sun during the year’s darkest days. More recently, candles and bonfires represented a seasonal wish to return to the light amidst the holiday rush and our “always on” culture. It can be hard to remember that this time of year is traditionally one of rest, of turning inward, of reflection.
It is a time to live in the present or, if you are a bear, to sleep until spring. Since sleeping ‘til spring is not a reality for anyone, a better option might be finding a moment to pause and reflect. Build a fire. Go for a walk in a park or along a new trail. Journal. Look at the stars.
Supermoon on December 18
Winter solstice is celebrated on the year’s shortest day which falls this year on December 21. It is also the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere. An astronomical sign of the season’s shift occurs on December 18 when a full supermoon will be at its peak. A supermoon is distinctive for its sky-high trajectory and the moon appearing to “sit” on the horizon for a long time. The Mohicans called this moon the Long Night Moon, which, this year, brightens the year’s longest night. Fitting, no?
Find your Hygge
A Nordic concept of coziness or relaxation that swept the world a few years ago, hygge is the perfect concept to pair with winter solstice and bridges the winter solstice celebrations from ancient to modern times. (It is dark for almost 24 hours in Nordic countries at this time of year so they get it!)
Put on a warm sweater, build a fire and grab a book, a game of chess or your favorite pastime. Then chill by yourself or with friends and family. It will be time soon enough to be busy again.