Saturday, December 21, 2013

Still Life With Robin: Happy Winter Solstice!

by Mark Grant (Wikimedia Commons)
by Peggy Robin

Holiday greetings to you! The holiday of the day is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. (See for more about this.) Every day after today we will be gaining a bit of sunlight. That’s something to celebrate, and people have done so long before there were other winter holidays to commandeer our attention around this time of year.

To learn what they used to do back in the old days when the solstice was a much bigger deal than it is for us these days, you might enjoy reading this:

If you’d like to make the most of next year’s winter solstice, then get yourself to Stonehenge, where they know how to do it right. Take a look at some of the photos from this year’s Druidic rites:  If you’d like to be part of next year’s winter solstice at Stonehenge, it’s not too early to book your tour. See for information. Remember, you are going to need to be there by sunrise, when the main festivities occur.

In America winter solstice celebrations often draw on Native American traditions -- see In recent years humanists and secularists have promoted a new winter holiday called HumanLight, centered around the solstice. However, the date chosen for that holiday is December 23. More on this at

However, Wiccans are the driving force behind most winter solstice celebrations currently being practiced around the world. Here’s a fairly standard account of the Wiccan way to celebrate the winter solstice:

Now for those of you who would rather observe a quieter, cozier --and less controversial-- holiday on December 21st this year, it’s Crossword Puzzle Day! And today is the 100th anniversary of the publication of the first crossword puzzle in the New York World:

So…whatever you are celebrating, for whatever reason, happy holiday!


Still Life With Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv,, and All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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