Winter Solstice is a celebration of the shortest day. Solstice roughly translates to “sun stands still.”
It is an important astrological occurrence and has been observed around the world for centuries with roots in almost all Ancient Civilizations. It was viewed as a time of death and rebirth, and a time of reflection.
In Scandinavian tradition Solstice was a way to recognise the return of the sun by bringing home logs of wood called Yule logs. In Ancient Rome the Saturnalia festival was celebrated on Winter Solstice. Saturn is the God of Agriculture.
There were lots of feasts with plentiful food and drink in the weeks leading up to Solstice. Incas fasted for three days leading up to Solstice and then offered golden cups of fermented beer to the Sun God in the community plaza. In Chinese culture it is a celebration of the return of positive energy to Earth.
Monday 21st of June marks the Winter Solstice for us! There are many modern ways that you can celebrate and recognise the Winter Solstice.
Fire and light are two important symbols, so creating an altar with candles in gold or yellow to represent the Sun surrounded by symbols of Winter (pine cones, herbs or wreaths) is a nice simple way to celebrate.
Lighting a fire and decorating a Yule Log is a great link back to the Scandinavian traditions. Decorate a log with plants, leaves, ribbons in reds and yellow to represent the sun and pine needles.
Then place it in the fire on the 21st of June during your feast or celebration time, to celebrate the return of the light.
As we welcome back the light, cleansing and cleaning your space is another great Winter Solstice ritual! Cleanse your home of unwanted clutter by cleaning and sorting, then clear any negative energy by smudging your space with sage, sweetgrass and/or pine needles.
You could make your own smudge sticks from these plants by tying them in a bundle and allowing to dry for two weeks
Another great way to celebrate Winter Solstice is through the sharing of food. Buttermilk bread is a delicious treat to have on Winter Solstice. Make it, share it and connect with people (see the recipe on our website).
Warmest Winter Blessings to you all as we welcome in the light and the return of the Sun! Feel free to share any photos of your Winter Solstice celebration by posting on our Website!
WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU SMUDGE
Yule is here, and I smudge this place,
Fresh and clean, in time and space.
Sage and sweetgrass, burning free,
as the sun returns, so it shall be.
– Vicki Shannon