Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter Solstice: Not Just For Druids and Hippies

On December 21, at 23:38UTC* the Earth's Northern Hemisphere will mark the 2010 Winter Solstice.

Unfortunately, many of the people living in the Northern Hemisphere will miss the opportunity to celebrate this blessed event, having been laid low as the hapless victims of Cashmas.** If you're one of those who hasn't traditionally celebrated the Winter Solstice, the Yummish would like to encourage you to give it a try this year.

As you probably learned in some grade school “generic science” class, the Winter Solstice is the date after which the days begin to lengthen and the Earth begins its celestial march toward Spring. Depending on the hemisphere in which you find yourself, it is celebrated in either December or June.

“The date after which the days begin to lengthen...”

Those italics mark an important distinction. The Winter Solstice marks the time when the days are shortest, the nights are deepest and the warmth and light of the growing season is the furthest away. The Winter Solstice is the celebration of hitting the low point, the moment after which everything simply has to get better because there is just no worse for it to get. It is a celebration of hope. To observe the Winter Solstice is to express your faith in the potential goodness of the future.

For the Yummish, that makes the Winter Solstice a low stress/high reward holiday. Unlike the other holidays of this season, with their measures of success – the perfect turkey, the perfect present, the perfect party – there is no pressure to get Solstice “right.” Solstice isn't about preparing for the one day, but taking one day to prepare for the year ahead. 

Today's exercise: Plan a Winter Solstice celebration. We recommend listening to The Beatles “Here Comes the Sun” a couple of dozen times to help get in the spirit.

Next: A really freaky meditation on the Yummish belief in extra-terrestrial alien life that will probably drive away the last few readers this blog has managed to retain.

*Yeah, we didn't know what that was either.

**Cashmas ≠ Christmas. As we've mentioned before, The Yummish are passionately in favor of birthday celebrations and think that if people want to celebrate the birth of a Jewish boy who was nice to his mother and willing to share his lunch with a large crowd of people, that is all to the good. A little quirky maybe, but ultimately fine by us.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE Solstice! We have a nice dinner with a Yule Log cake for dessert. It's so laid back before the insanity of Christmas. I hate that it's been mostly lost the history books and craziness of other holidays.