4 Ways to Celebrate the Solstice

The winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere and the official beginning of winter, has had deep spiritual significance since neolithic times. “Throughout history, humans have observed this seasonal milestone and created spiritual and cultural traditions to celebrate the rebirth of sunlight after the darkest period of the year,” explains National Geographic.

This year the winter solstice, the moment when the Earth is farthest away from the Sun, falls on December 22 (or December 21 depending on where you live), and for many, this is a holiday to celebrate. Many people are turning to non-denomination celebrations to avoid the consumer frenzy of this time of year, but also as a way to build their own traditions, particularly as eco-consciousness expands.

But why is it important to celebrate this event? According to Deena Wade of Mother Earth Living,

“Attuning our senses to the subtle changes and cycles of the seasons might help us attune more lovingly to the subtle changes and cycles in ourselves. By performing simple rituals with personal meaning to celebrate the solstice, these rituals will serve as touchstones to help us cultivate an attitude of receptiveness and appreciation that will carry us through the holiday season with more ease.”

For many, celebrating solstice is about acknowledging the divine energy of nature, often said to be heightened during this important celestial event, and being mindful of our connection to the natural world. Here are five easy ways to celebrate the solstice this year.

1. Do an Energy Fast

This idea comes to us from Richard Heinberg, author of Celebrate the Solstice. You can turn off the television, games, lights and cell phones and enjoy the day without technology to remember what our lives we like before technology. Turning off the electronics will allow you to tune into yourself, perhaps setting intentions for the new year, or reflecting on the year past.

2. Get Outside

Whether you’re in a city or in the forest, finding time for nature time is good for you anytime of year, but can be particularly grounding during these holiday weeks. If you can find water, the winter solstice is a great time to experience the benefits of finding your blue mind, but even just getting outside for a walk in green space is proven to have numerous scientific benefits.

3. Celebrate with Food

Connecting with food is an important part of any celebration, but it seems especially important during the winter months as we work hard to keep our body and souls warm. Whether holiday baking is your style, or making warming, nourishing plant-based meals, or making a warming fireside Wassail, a traditional German drink if spiced, simmered beer, rooting yourself in healthy traditions is a good option for any holiday.

4. Get Crafty to Connect with Nature

Cait Johnson, a writer here at Care2, has shared two of her favorite solstice projects: making a prayer stick and celebrating stones. These projects give adults and children a chance to reconnect with both nature and the spirit world, whatever that means to you.

Another great project is to make paper lanterns from recycled, upcycled, and natural items from in or near the home. Get the tutorial here.


Winter Solstice Savory Pie
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Christmas and Hanukkah Co-opted Paganism

Images from ThinkStock

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.


4 Ways to Celebrate the Solstice

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