• Gerard Horgan/GH

December: The Month of Light

After a challenging year, why not finish it with a few extra lights on a tree, around a bush or a part of your house/apartment. As we turn from one year to another, it is good to mark it like our Celtic ancestors used to do.

Winter Solstice/21 December

The winter solstice occurs when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. Newgrange in Co. Kildare is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. With December being the darkest time of the year, thoughts turn to the Winter Solstice, the welcoming of a New Year and 'new light'. Solstice means to ‘standstill,’ and refers to the three days around December 21st when the sun appears to ‘stand still,’ or rise and set in the same place. The sun slowly returns from December 22/23 and by the end of the month there is already a noticeable change in the amount of daylight we receive.

Rituals for "welcoming back the Sun date from the dawn of civilization, as communities came together to celebrate life with feasting, music, dance, drama and above all, light and fire. Whereas today we tend to think of Christmas as a single day or weekend event, most cultures suspended normal work routines and celebrated for at least twelve days. In ancient Rome, the Winter Solstice was welcomed with a joyous and unruly feast known as the Saturnalia. By the second century AD, they also celebrated the ‘Birthday of the Unconquered Sun’ on December 25th., a custom that originated in Syria. Further north, Scandinavians celebrated ‘Yule,’ a name which could mean ‘wheel'. The exact nature of early Celtic celebrations are not known because in the fourth century A.D., the Church of Rome overlaid the old festival of the birth of the Sun with the birth of the Son." ~ Source: Chalice Centre

So why not send your own light out into the world and brighten matters for all!


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