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Archive for December, 2012

Happy Solstice!

We celebrated the winter solstice  – our first time ever!

With Christmas, New Year’s and Chanukah already on our “To Celebrate” list, why add the solstice, especially since so many of our “Christmas” traditions clearly are derived from old solstice celebrations anyway?

  1. It just seems important to mark the shortest day of the year. It gets so dark here in winter and marking the day on which we start to get more light is worth celebrating.
  2. As I get more into gardening and eating seasonally, I am paying more attention to the cycles of nature.
  3. I want my children to know about nature, seasonal cycles and their European heritage.
  4. We celebrate holidays from all sorts of traditions, but not from paganism.
  5. It seems kind of magical!

How did we do it?  I checked out a few internet sites and found various ideas. The ones I especially liked are the candle ceremony and the feasting.

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Candle ceremony. We first went out and gathered greens, ivy, juniper and boxwood. We arranged them around a central candle, which was placed in a bowl of water. After sunset, the central candle was lit and we each lit our own candle from it. Then we talked about something meaningful to us from the last year and blew out our candles. We meditated in the dark for a minute and then relit the central candle. Now we each took turns making a wish for the coming year. Finally, we sprinkled glitter and lemon grass oil in the water bowl, dipped a finger in it and put a dot on each other’s forehead. The kids really liked that part because they ended up with glitter on their foreheads!

We did try to light a yule log but it was too wet. We’ll have to prepare that better next year.

The feast was just snacks, but we had chlebicky, dried fruits and nuts and cookies. We tried to make the cookies symbolize the holiday as much as possible.

Suns and moons.

Suns and moons.

Dark and light cookies.

Dark and light cookies.

We had elder flower syrup mixed with sparkling water – a little taste of spring!

The celebration was fun and a nice way to take a break from hectic Christmas preparations. We have 6 months to figure out a summer solstice celebration!

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