The Darkest Night

Winter solstice
Image via Wikipedia

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the Winter Solstice is upon us.  On the 21st/22nd of December this year, the sun will show itself for less than 10 hours.  The night will be its longest for the solar year in excess of 14 hours.  Yikes!

All this happens exactly at 0530 hundred hours (that’s in the morning) of the 22nd (UTC), the exact time this post is scheduled to appear on these here intertubes. Local time on the western coast of the United States is 1030 hundred hours on the 21st (I hope I got that right).

Anyway, humans have long noted the passing of the seasons and marked this significant event with celebrations, rituals, or, at least on the northern hemisphere, a finger up at the gods for making life cold and dark.  It’s not a co-wink-a-dink that most religions have some sort of celebration at this time of year.  For the heathens out there, we celebrate the fact that though the winter has just begun, the days are getting longer.

Here’s one way my husband and I have celebrated the Winter Solstice in the past:

  • Gather your friends and family (libations entice them to come outside in the dark)
  • Collect lots of wood
  • Have on hand some incendiary device (my husband prefers some kindling and lots of white gas :D)
  • Pass out candles and light them
  • Start a bonfire to hold back the night, and
  • Celebrate the return of the sun with friends, family, and the world

11 thoughts on “The Darkest Night

  1. Ug! I got it wrong. I knew I’d freak that up. It is 10:30 PM. That’s 2230 hundred hours. You’d think I never worked on a fire crew… 🙄

  2. Another little thing you can have fun with. Balance a raw egg on its fat end. You need a flat, steady surface, but it can be done on each of the equinoxes. I have had fun doing it in the past.

  3. You bring light, love and warm when they are needed the most. Those list are invaluable and precious if there is more night than day. I probably would feel depressed when I don’t see the sun but your advices will help me through in case it happens. In a way, it gets dark early as well in Houston but not that bad. The Christmas spirit helps buffer the cold and darkness. Wishing you and your family lots of blessings this holiday season.

    1. I have family in Houston, and yeah, winter is actually the “good” season. Northern California gets dark and cold. When we lived up in the mountains – very cold. Not as bad as northern Russia or Iceland, but I am looking forward to the days getting longer. On my morning walk this morning, the sky was splendid with the crescent moon near the eastern horizon, but it was dark.

      Happy Holidays. 🙂

  4. I really hate getting up for work when it is dark outside. From today I can watch the mornings get lighter though slowly at first.

    1. Right! Morning walks with the dog are dark. Sure, I can see the bright sky to the east, but sunrise is a long way off. Even though it is only minutes longer from now on, it is WILL GET BRIGHTER. 😀

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