Thursday, 21. December 2006
In astronomy, the solstice is either of the two times a year when the Sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator, the great circle on the celestial sphere that is on the same plane as the earth's equator. In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice occurs either December 21 or 22, when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Capricorn; the summer solstice occurs either June 21 or 22, when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Cancer.
In 2006 at precisely December 22, 00:22 GTM (December 21, 7:22 P.M. EST) winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere and summer begins in the Southern Hemisphere.
Aborigines, Astroarchaeologists, Atheists, Celts, Druids, Native Americans, Pagans, Shamans, Wiccans, Witches, and others, will be celebrating the world's oldest holiday.
Blessed Winter Solstice to all!
Winter Solstice Sun by EPOD
Some web sites featuring good information on the Winter Solstice:
Long before the dawn of any of the modern Judeo-Christian-Islamic faiths, rituals followed a more simplistic path. Guided by the natural cycle of birth-life-death-and-renewal, the ancients marked their seasons by celebrating each phase of the wheel of life. Both male and female principals, God and Goddess, were honored. Each was given honor as the sun and moon entwined in their cosmic dance.
All about Solstice and Equinox by morefocus. Direct link to Celebrating the Winter Solstice.
Ancient Origins: Solstice
Teresa Ruano and friends describe ancient solstice architectures, a family fertility ritual, and solstice celebrations of many cultures.
Winter Solstice & Yule Rituals
Don't miss Lisa Hutchins' essay describing the origins, traditions and spirituality of the solstice.
Celebrating the Seasons: Winter Solstice
Lore and Rituals by Selena Fox.
Yule Songs from Pagan Digest
A collection of fun rewordings of well-known carols, hymns and songs.
Dates and Times of Equinoxes and Solstices
To calculate the date and approximate time of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes and of the summer and winter solstices you can use the online calculator.
Elsewhere: Earth's Seasons Equinoxes, Solstices, Perihelion, and Aphelion 1992-2020
And last but not least: Stonehenge Summer and Winter Solstice Pictures