Friday, December 21, 2007

Winter Solstice

Today/ tonight is the winter solstice. The shortest day of the year and the longest night. From now on the nights get shorter slowly, slowly until the summer solstice. We must have faith, through the long dark night, that we will see the sun rise between the stones tomorrow.

I prefer celebrating the solstice rather than Christmas. Nowadays, Christmas seems more like a time to buy a glut of gifts and spend money one doesn't have all to put on a show. For some, it may be a memory of the birth of Christ,of course and that is good. For others it means mainly Santa Claus. Commercialism. Or perhaps a meld of the two.

Many of the things we associate with Christmas were originally solstice (pagan) symbols such as the tree, the holly and the ivy, drinking glog and ale, joining together by the fire to pray that the sun (son) would come again, singing songs with friends. And so forth. The date of Dec 25th for celebration of Christ's birth was chosen, by Rome so I have read, because it was near the pagan celebration of solstice and would be an easy segue into Christmas.

This is all sort of the "gist" of it and not necessarily directly out of the encyclopedia.

In any event, happy solstice to all and to all a good long sleep filled with peace night.
And happy Yalda to my Iranian friends. Yalda, as human being has noted in a comment, is the Iranian solstice celebration.

8 comments:

Cris in Oregon said...

I love it that after today we will be heading back to longer days. I hate short dark days. To me it begins to feel like renewal. Spring is on its way altho winter has really just officially begun.
And I totally agree with you on Christmas.

Cris in Oregon said...

oh and thanks for nice comments on my blogs too.

myla.persianblog.ir said...

My dear Suki, I dont know how to thank you for your kindness, for thinking about sending me your book, the Artist's Way, and for adding my blog address to your links. Your suggestion about second hand books was practical. Although it wont work here, I will see to it after I settled down in Aus.
The poems in my last posts are Pessoa's.

Happy Yalda, :D

myla

Anonymous said...

I think the pagan celebrations are
earthy and true, expressing real
feelings. I used to read a Celtic
day book called "The Pagan Book of
Days." For Dec. 21st, they say the
"fourth station" of the year
signifies enlightenment, "when the
light is reborn within the womb of
darkness." I like the poetry. Also
today is St. Thomas' Day, when the
poor were given presents (or asked
for cash). Enlightenment please!

sukipoet said...

Thank you Cris, Myla and anonymous for your reflections. Yes, it is good to think we are now heading toward spring. March is always the worst month to me but I have a friend who loves march as it means closer to spring.

Myla, how exciting that you will be in australia it sounds like for awhile. And thank you for introducing me to this new (for me) poet.

Anonymous now I know who you are via the email. Glad you found my blog. I didn't know about St. Thomas. Be well

ANDREA said...

Dear Suki, I'd rather celebrate Solstice too cause it means Spring is closer than yesterday:)
Funny cause I love March,like your friend, (my birth-month) cause for me it is like a wind announcing spring...
Have a great day
Andrea

Sara said...

I agree with all you said, we also have a feast with the family near Thanksgiving just to yield the Christmas consumerism.
The winter solstice is something we sometimes celebrate with a barbecue on the snow. We always celebrate the summer one burning a man size doll on a heap of wood. Austrian do that.
have a wonderful solstice time! :-)

sukipoet said...

Thank you Sara and Andrea.
Andrea, my friend who loves March also has a March birthday!!! Hmm.

Sara thanks for sharing some of your celebrations. I know very little about Austria and so now I am learning a bit.