Planning Solstice Celebrations

Monday, December 11, 2006

Winter Solstice Celebrations

It's not too soon to think about Winter Solstice celebrations, which are increasingly becoming more popular. (If you really want to go old school, see Saturnalia.) Some people do this in addition to their usual Christmas traditions. Some have the celebration of Jesus birth assimilated into the Winter Solstice. And some are just tired of the whole cheesy commercialism of Christmas that concentrates more on enriching the retailers and stressing us all that they wish to try something different.

It depends on what you want to get back from this season. Love? Peace? Presents? Do you want to honor it with a religious experience? And which one? Should you feed your spirituality in a more earth-based way, leave out the whole biblical aspect, or celebrate your usual family traditions? And what about the children?

How does a Buddhist couple with Protestant parents and Pagan kids celebrate the holidays? We manage to do our own thing and also honor our family's way of celebrating by finding something we all can relate to. One thing is we all celebrate the Winter Solstice and continue through New Year's Eve: 12th Night. We build a bonfire, (my husband's favorite part) and a Yule log is taken from that to the indoors where it (and more firewood) burns until the 12th Night. Then you spread the ashes on the field or garden on the first day of the year (which get into Compitalia). In those 12 days there's also a procession, gift-giving, (a little gift each day) bells, singing, paying it forward, feasting, prayers and much more but this is getting a little long.

Winter Solstice for 2006 will occur in North America on December 21, Thursday. The precise time depends on your time zone. In PST, it will be 4:22 pm; in EST, 7:22 pm.
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Related Resources
* Solstice Planning Guide for the home and outdoors.
* Winter Solstice Religious Celebrations
* Sew seeds for Winter Solstice.
* Saturnalia

In the midst of winter I found there was within me an invincible summer. ~Albert Camus



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