It’s getting cold out there! I’ve been thinking about celebrating the Winter Solstice this year, and in honor of that age-old tradition, I’d like to share some thoughts…
The Winter Solstice
For thousands of years, the winter solstice has been recognized in cultures around the world as a celebration of Light and the rebirth of the Sun.
While it is the official start of winter here in the northern hemisphere and the longest night of the year, it’s also when daylight begins to increase! We can appreciate, anticipate, and celebrate the increasing hours of sunlight and warmth that lie ahead and create unique times to remember by honoring this age-old tradition.
A friend of mine lives in the woods in an area with very few neighbors ~ but each year, her neighbors have a winter solstice party. Yes, it’s a day right in the midst of the busy holiday season. Still, they have always made time to celebrate the simplicity and beauty of the season with family and friends, and no pressure or presents are needed!
In case you’re interested, here are some of their ideas for celebrating and creating your own traditions to bring in the Winter Solstice and make it a season to remember!
─ We begin, of course, by creating a memorable feast to celebrate and give thanks for the good fortune of the season and the abundance of life. Good food and good friends go hand-in-hand! Keep simplicity in mind. A feast is whatever you make of it. It can even mean everyone brings their favorite snacks to share!
─ Then, just as our ancestors did on this longest night of the year, a bonfire or campfire brings in the extra sunlight and warmth to honor the life-giving power of the Sun that keeps our planet and us alive and well! This is an opportunity to gather around the fire and share songs, stories, favorite music, and time with friends and family ~ yes, even outdoors in the snow or indoors around candles! Fires symbolize a time of rebirth, a time when you can start fresh, re-create, and grow in the Light and warmth of the Sun. And remember, you really don’t even have to have a big bonfire outside ~ you can celebrate inside with something as small as a candle!
─ Did you know that most people spend 95 % of their time indoors?! Spend time outdoors and in the Sun ~ or the moonlight ~ perhaps cross country ski or take a walk by moonlight! This is a beautiful time of year to go outside ~ bundle up to be warm and comfortable, breathe in the fresh air, and experience winter wildlife and the soft sounds of falling snow. Bring into your life all that nature has to offer and feel it renew your energy.
─ Create an indoor garden of plants and flowers that you love. It brings the friendliness of summer indoors; even a small container garden will warm your spirit as you nurture the new growth. (When I lived in Japan, I always loved seeing intricately shaped “bonsai” in some homes – sitting next to windows where light would pour in!)
─ Explore a special interest that makes you smile or warms your heart. Create plans that speak to your spirit ~ that reflect part of who you are ~ that enhance who you are.
─ Use this time as a catalyst to start over. We all tend to think only of January 1st as the time to re-evaluate and begin anew. But the changing of the seasons is another excellent time to start fresh, re-evaluate where we’re going, or perhaps just clear out the never-ending array of clutter that seems to accumulate around us. Creating fresh and clean new space is a wonderful way to make room for more abundance in our lives and the opportunities of the new season.
However you celebrate, begin your tradition to welcome the Winter Solstice with memorable activities that make you happy. Incorporate rejuvenating and meaningful interests and thoughts into your daily life that take care of you in body, mind, and spirit. You’ll be re-energizing yourself to create more inspiring moments and abundance in your life!
- Brian Szepkouski (Dec. 2021)