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winter solstice activities

December 24, 2008


Great God of the Sun,
I welcome Your return.
May You shine brightly upon the Goddess;
May You shine brightly upon the Earth,
scattering seeds and fertilizing the land.
All blessings upon You,
Reborn One of the Sun!
Know that you are Blessed.

In previous years, I have honored the winter solstice in various ways: gatherings with friends, hikes up to Two Trees to watch the sunset, walks or bike rides along the beach, a pubic performance of a solstice ritual and poetry reading (I put up a post with the winter solstice ritual here last year).

On the day of the winter solstice this year, we celebrated  by organizing a bike riding Santacon which concluded with a fire burning late into the night at the Artbarn (see photos in previous post).

I did something else this year too: I organized a gathering and fundraiser at the Artbarn for my son’s kindergarten class.

Since many solstice rituals involve candles, and since I wanted to help the children understand the incremental nature of the growing days, we made candles, dipping wicks into heated blue or green wax, then cold water, over and over again. The children also made t-shirts with their handprints, the fingers as candles, the tips as flames (photo to be added soon!)

For a the third activity,  the children planted seeds for the Artbarn’s garden as well as sweet pea seeds to take home and grow.

At the end, we set up a mic and the children took turns on stage leading as song or telling a joke or  a story.

Great God of the Sun,
I welcome Your return.
May You shine brightly upon the Goddess;
May You shine brightly upon the Earth,
scattering seeds and fertilizing the land.
All blessings upon You,
Reborn One of the Sun!
Know that you are Blessed.
Image of the Tyrrhenian Sea and Solstice Sky
Credit & Copyright: Danilo Pivato

9 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2008 5:05 am

    Mewwy Wateber– if my fate is to be a spectator at yr next public performance, well, I’ll work on learning to live with it…! Better than nuthin’ I guess…

  2. December 26, 2008 10:01 pm

    I hope our paths will cross again! you never know!

  3. John Huang permalink
    December 8, 2009 4:11 pm

    I am a retired physicist. I like your photo on Winter Solstice in Erie, PA found on your website

    I wish to use it to illustrate the path of the sun on Solstice in a low circulation non-profit magazine in Taiwan. May I get the permission for the usage from you? If so, how do you want me to credit the author?

    Yours truly

    John Huang

  4. December 8, 2009 4:36 pm

    I love that photo too–it’s not only illustrative but beautiful. Thank you very much for your appreciation of the photo, but I can’t claim credit for taking it. Credit belongs to Danilo Pivato and it came from NASA’s Astronomy picture of the day here: –although I actually found it last year in a language I can’t read. Today I found it in English and so added the photo credit which I thought I posted last year. Thank you for calling my attention to this.

  5. Anonymous permalink
    December 12, 2009 10:56 am

    Is the photo with the semi-circle stars a real photo?

  6. December 12, 2009 5:14 pm

    I’m not the photographer; Danilo is. You can email him with your question.

    But as I understand it, the image depicts the sun as it makes its southernly path across the sky during the day of the winter solstice. So yes, it’s a real photo; the semi-circle of “stars” is actually one star, our sun, as it rises and sets over the course of the day when it is lowest on the horizon.

    Hope that answers your questions. I’m working on a post about this to be published soon on this blog discussing this image, the solstice and NASA APOD.

  7. KATHY MOLL permalink
    December 21, 2009 1:27 am

    thank you for the wonderful ritual ideas and the photo…awesome!

  8. December 21, 2009 8:53 pm

    You’re welcome, Kathy–and so are all the other visitors to the blog who are checking out this post!

    I hope you’ll also go see today’s winter solstice 2009 post:

    There’s another really great image!


  1. winter solstice activities & rituals « art predator

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