At the Winter Solstice, the Sun enters the part of the space-time continuum belonging to Capricorn. This year, that’s Monday, the 21st of December. This is the official first day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The word Solstice is derived from the Latin sol, or “Sun,” and stitium, or “stoppage.” At the Solstice, the Sun appears to both rise and set at the same spot on the horizon. At New Grange the sun gradually lights the chamber over the five days, peaking on Dec 21-23.
On or around June 21-23, the Summer Solstice, the North Pole is tilted most directly Sunward. Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere experience this as the longest day and shortest night of the year. On or around December 21-23, the Winter Solstice, the North Pole is pointed away from the Sun giving us in the Northern Hemisphere, our shortest day and longest night. It is this tilting of the Earth’s rotational axis that gives us our seasons.
If you want more information on how this works, just ask and I can recommend some articles and books that explain it really well. I don’t know about you, but to me, the important part of this is that from here on out, we get a few minutes more of daylight each day, until the Summer Solstice, that is.
Symbols of Winter:
Snow, bare-branched trees, icicles, menorah, yule log, Santa Claus with his elves and reindeer, a crèche with Magi and star, etc.
Foods of Winter:
Mulled cider, brandy, eggnog, Julekake, Panetone, nuts, yams, satsumas, candy canes and fudge, spices.
Colors of Winter:
Blue and white, silver and gold, red and green.
Stones of Winter:
Capricorn is represented by onyx, hematite and garnet.
Aquarius is represented by pietersite, malachite and amethyst.
Pisces is represented by aquamarine, and turquoise and jade.
Activities of Winter:
Skiing and snowshoeing, hanging up lights and decorations, Holiday celebrations, shoveling snow and watching movies like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, Christmas in Connecticut, White Christmas, Die Hard, Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation…