The winter solstice is that time of the year when the Sun has the least altitude from the horizon at noon time. This solstice occurs on the shortest day of the year, marking the mid winter season. Since the winter solstice is regarded as the reversal of the Sun’s cycle, it is symbolic of the cycle of death and rebirth of souls. Winter solstice has different meaning in different cultures and geographical regions; however most of these cultures today celebrate this time of the year with festivals, greetings, big dinners and religious gatherings.
Winter Solstice Celebration
Winter solstice greetings are usually accompanied with winter solstice cards, which have gained quite a lot of popularity due to the celebration of Christmas. Winter solstice celebration is the marking of the preparation for the festivals of Christmas, Yule and Saturnalia. Solstice cards are a great way to celebrate the festivals related to the winter solstice. These off beat, fun to read and comical cards not only bring smiles to the faces of people but also helps in keeping the history related to the winter solstice preserved.
Yule can be considered as the pre-Christian Christmas which was celebrated by the Germanic people. This Pagan Yule involves Yule traditions and rituals for welcoming daylight and Sun in the people’s lives. Similar to Christmas, Yule celebration involves lights, exchange of presents, trees as well as a hearty dinner. Pagan Yule cards are quite popular as they are interesting due to the fact that the history of Yule goes even before Christmas was recognized. A Pagan Yule decoration involves bright colored lights to mark the end of winter and return of the new sun. The Yule Wicca marks the rebirth of the Great Horned Hunter God, who is regarded as the new sun.
Winter Solstice Rituals
Winter solstice rituals usually involve a prayer which aims at making people forget whatever happened in their past and making them set goals for the future, for their dream to come true. Winter solstice traditions involve display of affection and brotherhood through singing prayers and praises in choirs and donating items to the poor.
Some secrets of solstice also reveal the story behind the standing stones in Ardmore, Lispole. These stones which date back to the Bronze Age reveal how the ancient civilizations used these stones to pin point and mark the change in seasons. Druids, members of the priestly class in Celtic Europe, also used to celebrate the mid winter celebrations around December 25th to mark the reversal of the season cycle.