Monday, December 22, 2008
I prefer a quiet celebration of Winter Solstice, rather than participating in the travesty that Christmas has become. Solstice has been written about so very movingly by my blogbud Twilight in her post. In some cities, candle-light ceremonies are held. A little parade takes place in an old market area of Toronto where witches and warlocks can be seen and a simple community joy is visible by all in attendance.
Winter Solstice appeals to me. A celebration of the harmony and order of the seasons on this planet and a welcoming of the coming longer daylight hours with a farewell to the darkness. And so very Irish too. Solstice in pre-Christian times was celebrated in Newgrange in Ireland, in a tomb built before the pyramids 5000 years ago. The location is 26 miles North of Dublin. Here the Solstice can be seen in all its glory.
The sun, rising on December 21, shines directly along the long passage into the chamber for about 17 minutes and illuminates the chamber floor. This alignment is a marvel of complex calculations. The sun enters the passage through a specially contrived opening through the roof, which is situated above the main entrance and lights up the floor of the inner chamber.
Today the first light enters about four minutes after sunrise, but calculations of the Earth’s historical rotation show that 5000 years ago first light would have entered exactly at sunrise. An incredible mathematical feat for those times. Unless there is something we don't know.
Happy Winter Solstice everyone.
“May the sun shine brightly on this, your new beginning, may it be filled with balance, harmony, grace and joy.”