Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice

The winter solstice is the shortest day and the longest night of the year, marking the beginning of winter. One of the ancient traditions responding to this long cold night is a fire using the oak Yule log. Ancient and indigenous cultures also celebrate the day as the beginning of the earth's rebirth, for the days now begin to get longer. I attended a Native American ceremony once in which it was explained as the earth's period of pregnancy. Many of the ancient rituals of this day became part of Christmas and other winter holiday celebrations.

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