life & style
Finding Solace in the Winter Solstice By: Darlene Longacre at InternationalCuisine.com
battle between the light and dark forces.
uring the holiday season it is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle, worrying about spending money, getting the right gift for loved ones, friends and coworkers. How much to decorate, which party to attend, what to bake, the list goes on and on. There has also been so much chaos in the news lately that it can take its toll on the spirit of the holidays. Taking a moment to stop and reflect on the winter solstice is a beautiful reminder of the commonality we share as humans. No matter what you believe, the fact remains that the winter solstice will occur in the Northern Hemisphere this year on December 21st at 2:44 am PST. It will be the summer solstice at the same time in the Southern Hemisphere. The solstice occurs each year between December 21st and December 23rd as it has throughout time.
The Soyal, a winter solstice ceremony of the Zuni and Hopi Indians also known as the peaceful one. It is a celebration for purification and the beginning of the ritual of the Kachina season. Kachina is the presence of life in all objects that fill the universe and the spirits come to visit during this time. The ancient Celts celebrated the winter solstice with the festival of Alban Arthuan, a fire festival which translated means “The Light of Arthur.” This celebration was also known as “yule” and is the birthplace for many of our Christmas traditions. As the holiday season is upon us I thought I would share some ideas to take a break and embrace the early nightfall of the winter solstice. Take a moment to become quiet and introspective. It is in fact a beautiful time to cultivate a deeper connection to nature, family and all the things that matter most. Feed the spirit and nurture the soul.
Solstice gets its name from “sol” meaning the sun and “sistere” meaning to stand still. In the northern hemisphere it is the longest night of the year followed by the renewal of the sun. The Winter Solstice has been celebrated back to ancient times all over the world. The ancient Egyptians believed it was the rebirth of the sun. In ancient Rome it was called Dies NatalisInvicti Solis, or the birthday of the unconquered sun. A time when grudges and quarrels were forgotten, wars were interrupted or postponed and where masters celebrated as equals with their slaves. Iranian families kept fires burning all night to assist the AmerIndo
Here are some ideas: •• Make a real Yule log: A log that is decorated with feathers, holly, mistletoe and pine needles is meant to be burnt over the longest night of the year. Save a few ashes from that special log in a satchel for good luck and safety from storms. 24 25