Happy Solstice! While the exact time of the solstice slightly differs this year, I wanted to share this post my dad wrote last year.
Originally posted on Mr. Cowles:
6:12 am December 21, 2012, marks the Winter Solstice, the shortest day in the northern hemisphere. Hours of daylight increase following the solstice as the sun begins its return journey toward summer. To celebrate, many ancient cultures engaged in rituals and festivals of light. In the northern hemisphere, the December solstice occurs during the coldest season of the year. Although winter was regarded as the season of darkness and cold, the coming of lighter days after the winter solstice brought on a more festive mood. To many people, this return of the light was a reason to celebrate. Nature’s cycle was continuing. There are more ceremonies and rituals associated with the winter solstice than any other time of year.
Thousands of years ago, the Roman culture celebrated Saturnalia, its major festival, on the Winter Solstice. When Julius Caesar instituted a new calendar in 46BC, the festival fell on December 25th…
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