What Does Christmas Have to Do With the Solstice?
“The birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated on Dec. 25, or Christmas Day, all around the world. But there is no biblical evidence of Jesus’ birth falling on this date.
Early Christians debated when it should be celebrated, and some theories suggest that because the Romans already celebrated a festival around the solstice, Christians chose the date to appease the pagans and Romans and co-opt the holiday for their religious needs.
Yule, the ancient name for Christmas, may come from jol, a Scandinavian winter solstice festival.”
According to Forever Conscious, “The winter solstice celebrates the longest hours of darkness or the rebirth of the sun and is believed to hold a powerful energy for regeneration, renewal and self-reflection.
In Pagan times the winter solstice was referred to as Yule and was a celebration of the Goddess (Moon) energy.
# 1 It’s caused by the Earth’s tilt. (see illustration in link)
# 2 It’s a really short day.
# 3 But it does not have the earliest sunset.
The earliest sunset of the year happens a few weeks prior to the winter solstice.
# 4 It’s not really recognizable
Unlike other astronomical events like a falling star or an eclipse, the winter solstice is not readily recognizable. But as the word implies – Latin for “sun stands still” – when the sun hits the lowest possible arc in the sky it gives the illusion that it is rising and setting at the same time.
# 5 Ancient monuments commemorate it
People of the ancient world built monuments in Irish countrysides, in Peru, Egypt and Machu Picchu.
# 6 Some insist it is foreboding
“This side of three years ago, the winter solstice wasn’t just dreaded; it was feared. In 2012, people somehow became convinced that this astronomical even would surely herald the end of the world.” (more from link)
# 7 It is celebrated around the world Celebrating the solstice didn’t end with ancient civilizations. For thousands of years, cultures across the globe have continued to welcome the winter solstice. The Yalda festival is still observed in Iran with modern adaptations like staying up late and savoring ripe watermelon and pomegranate.
And the ancient Druid pastime of cutting mistletoe in celebration of winter solstice has not only survived, but is a widely practiced holiday ritual.
Hope you enjoy December 21, 2019 Winter Solstice as part of your Holiday festivities.