Celebrate the Winter Solstice – the days grow longer from now on. Only 89 days until Spring! The Winter Solstice occurs on December 21. This means that December 21 will have the fewest daylight hours of 2021. The solstice marks the official start of winter.
From ancient times the Winter Solstice has played an important role in cultures worldwide. In Druidic traditions, the Winter Solstice was a time of death and rebirth, marking time when the old sun dies and the new sun is born at dawn of December 22.
There are a number of Winter Festivals that continue to this day. Many of the customs, symbols, and rituals now associated with Christmas originated with the Winter Solstice celebrations in early cultures. According to an article in the Farmer’s Almanac, the festival known as Alban Arthan (Welsh for “Light of Winter”) may be the oldest seasonal festival.
There’s a prehistoric monument called Newgrange that’s associated with the Alban Arthan festival. This monument was built in Ireland around 3200 B.C. When the Sun rises, the central chamber is flooded with sunlight on the Winter Solstice. The Almanac states that what Stonehenge is for Alban Hefin (The Druid festival for The Summer Solstice), Newgrange is for Alban Arthan.
Celebrate the Winter Solstice by focusing on the positive. Even in these uncertain times we can share light and love. Cozy up with some cocoa in your favorite cup – enjoy a fire and a good book. If you’re looking for something to do later, the Ursids meteor shower will peak in the early hours on Wednesday.