Winter Solstice, December 21st

Mass Clock Steventon

In fact, the Solstice this year is:

Friday 22 December at 3.27am GMT

(Royal Museums Greenwich)

The Sun is at its lowest at midday; the sun rises and sets at its most southerly. If the southward diminishing of the Sun continues, life will be extinguished, as the world will have no light and no heat. So, societies all round the world, made a point of honouring their sun Gods and Goddesses on this day.

And so our Deities, renew their promise and the Sun begins its rebirth, it begins to rise further north each day, the Sun at noon is higher, it sets further north. So the days are longer, brighter, eventually warmer.

Symbolically, the solstice is an ending as well as a beginning; a turning point and a promise by the Deity that the world will continue. It will turn, the wheel will turn. Warmth and growth will return. Buds already growing in the earth will break out and bring new growth.

Culturally, it’s a time to have a party before the weather gets really cold, it is a time to evaluate your life; look back at the lessons from the last year and begin, like the Sun, a new and hopefully better cycle.

Note. So if the Sun is at its shortest and weakest, why isn’t it the coldest time of the year? That is because the earth and particularly the oceans retain the heat of the Sun, and so the coldest time is at the end of January.

For a discussion, on the Solstice and the Parthenon Marble look at my post:

First published on Dec 21st 2021, revised and republished on Dec 22nd 2023

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