Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice

The longest, darkest night of the year.
The shortest day of the year.
From now on, the days become longer.
Yippeee - I will celebrate.

The longest night of the year was always greeted with a feast; singing, dancing and much drinking. In ancient times, this was their way of enticing the Sun to come back; ensuring that it would continue to rise in the morning, set in the evening and bring life to the world for another year.

Gradually it became a celebration of of the sun's return, a festival of thankfulness that the cycle of seasons would carry on through another year.

Evergreen plants were all that grew at this time of year, and so came to be revered as a symbol that life could survive the winter.

Holly with its prickly leaves and cheerful red berries represented protection from evil spirits, and was used to decorate walls and doors.

Mistletoe was a sacred plant and may have been distributed to each family by Druids to hang in their homes for protection.

I have evergreens in my yard. A tree in my home decorated for Christmas or Yule. I will light my candles as soon as it is dark and give thanks that the sun's light will become stronger - each day a little bit longer.


Weeping Sore said...

Hello! What a wonderful blog, discovered through your comments on Terra Farmer's blog. I garden as well, and celebrate Winter Solstice. But I also live with a COPD spouse, aka "Tech Support Guy" and his 90 year old crazy mother. There are days when I'm not sure who is crazier. I look forward to looking in here again.

Wendy said...

Welcome aboard, weeping sore. Sounds like you have a very busy life.
Will visit your blog as well.
In the meantime - happy winter solstice.

peppylady said...

Happy Yule

Smalltown RN said...

My in laws anniversary is on Decemember 21....grandpa use to giggle when he said it was the longest night and that is why they chose that day to get married.

I like the history you provided about the as I look out my window and I watch the snow fall I can at least say the days are getting longer.....yippee!

Rose said...

Lovely, Wendy! If the ancients were as cold on this day as we were yesterday, I can certainly understand why they celebrated. Today the wind chill is -2F, but at least the winds are not howling as they were yesterday. It's comforting to know the days are now getting longer.

Stay warm and have a Merry Christmas, Wendy!

Shammickite said...

I am treating the winter solstice as a new beginning. The days are getting longer from here, and I intend to make the most of every minute. I've had some emotionally difficult times recently, and Christmas will be hard, but it's onward and upward from here on!

Beverly said...

Good post. Even here in Florida I look forward to days getting longer!

Merry Christmas.

Abbasgirl said...

I look forward to the days growing longer but not to the heat which will come...


naturewitch said...

HI Wendy

Love the photo at the top of the page! Simply gorgeous.

Hope you and your loved ones have a magical and healthy Christmas and New Year. xx

peppylady said...

Have a wonderful yule season.

Ruth said...

Hurrah for longer days, even a minute or two at a time!

beckie said...

Graet post, Wendy. I love your pictures. Usually this time of the year I stay in where it is cozy and warm and enjoy the early darkness. But with having to work, I am not happy about the short days. Si even a gradual lightening is welcomed.

Happy Hpolidays!

Appalachian Lady said...

That's a good way to look at the solstice--afterwards, days will just get longer!

Nice blog! I am a first time visitor but will be back.


Kanak Hagjer said...

This is so interesting Wendy. I'd never given the winter solstice much thought before but seeing a post like this will always remind me of the story behind it.

Wish you and your family a Merry Christmas!

Mary said...

Beautiful post, Wendy, with thoughts that are shared with millions...longer days. AMEN!

I love your photo header!

Have a wonderful, peaceful, Christmas with your loved ones, Wendy.


Carin Fuchs said...

I know that your christmas is tomorrow but in my country it is today so

Froehliche Weihnachten für Dich und Deine Familie,
have a wonderful time

Lots of hugs for you and OH

Bear Naked said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Bear((( )))

Grammy said...

Just stopped by to day hi.
And send a big hug.
Merry Christmas.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Merry Christmas, Wendy. Loved your info on Winter Soltice. I am looking forward to the New Year and Spring! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and Hubby and the rest of the family are well.

Cheryl said...

What a wonderful post Wendy.....I love the spiritual content.....

I love stonehenge.......I have driven past the stones many times.........there is something so mystical about them......

I hope that you and yours had a wonderful Christmas together.......

Q said...

Dear Wendy,
I think of you so often....this is a lovely post. Thank you.
Your header is gorgeous!
May your New Year be filled with joy!
Looking forward to 2009.