The Winter Solstice is traditionally a pagan celebration. It marks the first day of winter, and the time that everything dies away. It is the oldest of all winter celebrations, coming long before Christmas, and is also known as Yule. In fact, many other religions used the date of Winter Solstice to determine the dates of their big celebrations. Christians decided Yule was the perfect time to set Christmas.
The Shortest Day of the Year
The first day of winter officially starts on December 21 in the northern hemisphere, which is the shortest day of the year. However, the Romans celebrated the coming of the winter season from December 17. They would celebrate what was known as Saturnalia, which was the year’s rebirth. Rules were reversed during the week-long celebrations, with masters dressing as their servants and women dressing as men. Gift giving and decorations were a tradition at the time.
When people relied on the seasons, the sun was respected tremendously, often worshipped. When the winter came, the Northern European Norsemen would drink ale and tell stories to one another with bonfires lit.
Celebrating the Winter Solstice Before Christmas
The celebrations of Christmas were set to tie in with Yule. People would enjoy the shortest day of the year by cutting down mistletoe and giving it to people as a blessing. This was traditionally a Druid act. Mistletoe represented the life during the winter months, which are dark, cold, and often dim. It was a sign that there was life, and there was life to come after this period.
Many may wonder where the 12 days of Christmas come from. This is also to do with the old winter celebrations. A Yule log was used by the Druids, who would light it for 12 days during winter’s middle period. It was to conquer the darkness seen during this time of year and banish the evil spirits that would lurk in the dark. The Yule log was also a symbol of luck for the spring season just around the corner.
Winter Solstice is a time for things to die. However, the death is not forever. The tradition was to celebrate the rebirth in the spring. It was seen as a cycle, and one that would never stop but still needed to be worshipped and celebrated.
The Winter Solstice is the perfect day to contemplate where we have travelled this year & look forward to where our lives will lead us as we prepare for the re-birth of spring. If you are thinking ” What does 2014 hold for me?” Why not find out now with a psychic reading from a top psychic or clairvoyant .
As we approach the shortest day I sincerely hope this year has been kind & that next year will be even better.