Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice - today marks the beginning of winter here in the northern hemisphere. Today is also the shortest day and longest night. Mark this day by lighting candles early in the afternoon before it gets dark out, burn incense and if possible have a cooked meal that involves either stewing meat or making a nice pot of old fashion chicken soup. Light a fire in the fireplace or wood stove and snuggle up on the couch with your soup bowl and drink in the magic of the season.

Here is some more info on the winter solstice that I found.

In ancient Rome, the winter solstice was celebrated at the feast of Saturnalia, while in pre-christian Britain, the end of December centered around the pagan Yule log in a fiery display to melt the heart of a cold and dreary winter.

Today, a similar response to winter doldrums is the celebration of Christmas by many cultures around the world complete with twinkling lights, holiday feasts & lively festivals.

To many pre-Christian cultures, however, December was thought of as the most dreaded time of year, when the lack of heat and light and a limited supply of food spelled danger.

The cold was stark and the darkness seemed perpetual.

Even today, modern science points to a mental disorder that is now officially recognized as SAD, or seasonal affective disorder that results in moodiness or depression during the winter months due to the lack of sunlight.

The cure? Turn up the wattage! — indeed, the use of artificial light is the only known treatment for SAD.

Yet as the old wise man once said, it truly is darkest before the dawn. After December 21, the light slowly begins its inevitable return, and the days begin to grow blessedly longer, flipping the switch to ON for the inevitable countdown to spring ...

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