A Winter Solstice Ritual For Reflection & Release

Dec 24, 2017, 00:45
A Winter Solstice Ritual For Reflection & Release

For the Southern Hemisphere, it's the start of Summer.

In the Lower 48, the sun is up for more than 10 hours across Florida and southern Texas, while states across the northern tier get under nine hours of daylight. "The effect of this in the Arctic (within 23.5 degrees of the North Pole) is completely in darkness as Earth spins that day". The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is that the days now gradually become longer and the nights shorter. What really matters is that the account is one more little nudge to feel better during the long slog of winter.

Here's the Google Doodle honoring the summer solstice, for folks Down Under.

Even though winter is the coldest time of the year for the Northern Hemisphere, the Earth is actually the closest to the sun, according to NOAA. This year, that moment will occur at 16:28 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

In Germany and Scandinavia, a 12-day solstice ("Yule") is observed from mid-December, to which the rest of Europe and North America owes many of its Christmas customs, from the tree and front door wreath to the chocolate log.

Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day, December 25th, when we decorate our homes and communities with lights and stars to welcome the birth of the "true light of the world". However, it's never the day of the latest sunrise or earliest sunset. But the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun and receives less solar energy.

You can see an archive of Google Doodles here.

For thousands of years, people have taken part in rituals to mark the occasion.

Celebrations of returning light are common in history with feasts, festivals and holidays around the time of the winter solstice.

The very orientation of the prehistoric Stonehenge standing stones in the United Kingdom is along a solstice axis, with a sightline pointing to the December solstice sunset.