Saturday, December 19, 2020

Winter Begins

Monday, December 21, will be the 2020 Winter Solstice, aka the shortest day of the year and the official end of autumn and beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere. Many places already feel like winter and have for a few weeks.

Apparently this date was very important to our early ancestors in Northern Europe. It symbolized the end of days getting shorter and darker - the sun going away - and the beginning of days getting longer and lighter - the sun coming back. BTW, worshiping the sun isn’t irrational in a cold climate.

It is no accident that more than one international religion has major celebrations at this general time of year. They sort of got grafted onto, or perhaps overwritten upon, the pre-existing sun worship.

Beginning Tuesday, each short day will be slightly longer, each long night slightly shorter. In three months  they will be of equal length, and we will welcome spring.