Welcome to the Winter Solstice. ~Vic
From Why Christmas:
The evergreen Fir Tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals (Pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come. The Romans used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.
I was hoping to capture some images of the Moon, tonight but, we are so overcast from the rain storms, it’s just not going to happen. I will try tomorrow night.
Winter is officially here, as if all the snow we’ve had wasn’t a clue. The solstice arrived at 5:23pm EST and tomorrow’s Full Moon will be at 100% full illumination at 12:48pm EST. From The Almanac:
The word solstice comes from Latin sol “sun” and sistere “to stand still.” In the Northern Hemisphere, as summer advances to winter, the points on the horizon where the Sun rises and sets advance southward each day. The high point in the Sun’s daily path across the sky, which occurs at local noon, also moves southward each day.
At the winter solstice, the Sun’s path has reached its southernmost position. The next day, the path will advance northward. However, a few days before and after the winter solstice, the change is so slight that the Sun’s path seems to stay the same, or stand still. The Sun is directly overhead at “high-noon” on Winter Solstice at the latitude called the Tropic of Capricorn.
The solstice is the beginning of astronomical winter. (An almanac is defined as a “calendar of the heavens,” so we use the astronomical definition.) Astronomical seasons are based on the position of the Earth in relation to the Sun. However, meteorological seasons are based on the annual temperature cycle. For the ancient Celts, the calendar was based around the solstices and equinoxes, marking the Quarter Days, with the mid-points called Cross-Quarter Days.
This is the longest night of the year. It is a time for rest and reflection. Just like Spring cleaning time, the beginning of Winter can herald a cleaning of its own. Cold temperatures and bad weather can mean more time indoors. It can be a time for sifting through the past or contemplating the future. Many may find that re-evaluating relationships and possessions is easier during this slower time. I will be lighting a candle and smudging. Wishing everyone health and happiness. ~Vic