Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Winter Solstice - the darkest day of the year, a celebration of the return of the light!

Stonehenge Solstice Sun
This is the point in the north where we have the least amount of daylight; starting tomorrow we begin to gain more minutes of sunlight in our day, the opposite of the summer solstice, our longest day of sunlight of the year in the northern hemisphere.

At Stonehenge, the famous megalith, today the sun set aligns with the central altar stone and the 'slaughter stone'. 

Similarly the sun floods the chambers of Newgrange and Maeshowe, both incredibly ancient sites in Ireland and Scotland, respectively. 


Two gates align with sunrise and suneset at the  Goseck Germany site, below and above.

Tulum Mexico

Closer to the equator, where there is a less pronounced difference in the daylight, both Peru and Mexico have ancient sites where the sun is significant, one a convergence of stone lines pointing towards an adobe pyramid in Peru, the other a hole in a stone wall in Tulum.

In Iran, they have a celebration, Yalda, dating back to the early religion of Mithras dating back centuries.  People gather together, eat fruit, especially pomegranates, and ask questions, randomly opening books of the poetry of a 14th century poet, Hafez.  Supposedly the answer to the question can be found on the pages to which the book opens.  People stay up all night, and celebrate sunrise as the triumph of good over evil, specifically as represented by the sun god Mithras, a first century B.C. deity.

Or, there's the boomer version of celebrating the return of the sun, LOL.

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