|The winter solstice for the northern hemisphere was two days ago. It is the first day of winter, the shortest day of the year and the longest night. The nights at this time are dark because the small crescent moon is waning. On December 29th, there will be a new moon, which is not visible from the earth.|
The winter solstice is a traditional holiday, celebrated around the world. It was called Yul by the Druids and Jul by the Norse. Druid colors were red, green, and white. The houses were decorated with holly, ivy, evergreen boughs, and pine cones. The Romans had a Saturnalia festival that went on for a week. It was a very long party. The Chinese celebration of the winter solstice was called dong zhi and it was believed to be the day when everyone became one year older. Southern Chinese ate tang yuan or brightly colored rice balls cooked in a sweet or a savory broth. Northern Chinese enjoyed plain or meat filled dumplings.
In Peru, the winter solstice is celebrated in June. The festival that celebrates the Sun God is called the Inti Raymi, and the Sun God is called Inti in Quechua. Animals were sacrificed, and the Incas used a mirror to kindle a fire.
For more information about winter solstice festivals, take a look at the link mentioned below:
link to an article about traditional winter solstice festivals
|At people's homes, holidays are celebrated with decorations and with families getting together. Today, I went to my sister's house. Her house is full of all sorts of lovely winter decorations.|
|Snow globes are quite delightful. The harder you shake the snow globe, the harder it appears to snow inside. If you are very enthusiastic, you can make a blizzard. Here is Santa Claus inside a snow globe.|
|Lovely building in times long ago.|
|This outdoor scene seems almost magical. The building appears to sit on a cloud.|
|Peering inside on a snowy day.|
|More winter magic.|
|Old-fashioned fire station (on a cloud).|
|Jolly Santa Claus in front of a painting that I made about seventeen years ago.|
|Santa Claus with the evergreen needles.|
|These people truly seem as if they are living on a cloud.|