Happy Friday! Winter arrives today with the solstice occurring at 4:23 PM. That means that the Northern Hemisphere will be at its maximum tilt away from the sun, making this the shortest day of the year.
A lot of us dread this time of year because of the cold weather and lack of sunshine, so why would you want to celebrate the winter solstice? In early societies, the intention of winter solstice celebrations were to release the dark in favor of the light. Think of it as out with the old and in with the new, as the days start to grow longer.
Here are some fun ways you can celebrate the winter solstice this year:
1. Make a winter solstice tree – Many animals’ food sources are scarce this time of year. To help them get through the winter you can decorate a tree with popcorn strings or pinecones and apples that are covered in peanut butter and bird seed.
2. Try a new winter activity – Is there a winter activity that you’ve always wanted to do or somewhere in our community that you would like to explore? Make a list of these activities and try to find time to do them this winter
3. Visit your local library – If you have young children, there are a ton of great books about the winter solstice.
4. Have dinner by candlelight – Enjoy the longest evening of the year and celebrate the return of the longer days with a candlelit meal.
5. Look up at the night sky – On winter’s first night (December 21st) and on December 22nd of this year, the night sky will be beautiful! Not only does the Cold Moon fall on the winter solstice, but you will also be able to see Mercury and Jupiter, and the Ursid meteor shower will be at its peak.
6. Have a solstice fire – Ancient cultures believed that the winter solstice was a powerful time of release and of rebirth. If there are events or feelings from throughout the year that you need to let go, write them on small pieces of paper and throw them into the fire. Next, replace what you need to let go with something positive. Write down something you’d like to invite into your life and toss it into the fire as well. It could be something as simple as courage, openness to an idea, or love.
7. Set Intentions – An intention is simply something that you plan to do, to achieve, or to aim towards. Are there habits, passions, or ideas that you’d like to work towards? Intentions should come from the heart so you can focus on who you are and recognize what you truly value in life.
However you choose to celebrate, we wish you all a magical winter, a merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!