Ways to Celebrate the Winter Solstice
In the Southern Hemisphere we have inherited the many celebrations of the Northern Hemisphere. Traditionally, we celebrate Christmas, the time of Yule, when the sun is blaring and Easter, the period of harvest, when the leaves are beginning to fall. Our predecessors brought these ritual celebrations with them across the seas and imbued them with love and tradition as they settled into this great southern land, passing them down through generations. In the last 200 years there has been little adjustment or acknowledgment by the wider community of the opposite timings that we experience to the rhythms and seasons of Northern Hemisphere.
To truly connect with Mother Earth and Father Sky we have the opportunity to celebrate the eternal cycles of nature as they present themselves to us in our slice of the world. The Winter Solstice marks both the shortest day and the longest night of the year – it is a time for celebration as we look towards the warmer and more fruitful days of Spring and Summer. Celebrating the Winter Solstice gives us reason for pause, to go deep within ourselves with the opportunity to return with a renewed sense of wonder for life.
There are many ways that we can honour the upcoming Winter Solstice on June 22nd, you might choose one or all of our suggestions:
A WALK IN NATURE
No matter the weather, rug up in a cosy jacket – with a scarf and gloves if you need. Take yourself on a slow and mindful walk through your local park or reserve, leaving your phone and any other distractions behind. Notice the sounds and all of the plants and animals that you can see and breathe in the cool winter air. Feel it hit your lungs and, if it’s cold enough, watch your breath as it flows past your lips.
A restorative yoga practice is a beautiful way to slow down your body and mind, allowing yourself time to relax and restore, stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, your rest and digest responses. Breath awareness assists in softening all parts of yourself and helps to draw your awareness within. This connection to self will support you to become deeply embodied.
At Bliss, we will be hosting a beautiful Restorative Winter Solstice practice on 22nd June from 7PM – 9PM with Rhiannon and Jana, two of our amazing teachers.
More details and bookings
A FIRE RITUAL
Gather some of your family or friends and honour the Winter Solstice with the beauty of fire. This might be at home if you have an appropriate place to make a fire or even out camping – it may even be a spit roast or a barbeque fuelled by burning coals. If none of that is possible you could consider lighting candles at home or even attending a local lantern festival, which have been becoming more popular in recent years.
SALUTE THE SUN
Yule traditionally celebrated the rebirth of the sun, since the days grow longer from this point in the year. You can honour the sun by rising early or pausing to watch the sunset. You might like to meditate, journal or flow through a sun salutation to help you mark this magical point in the year.
PREPARE A FEAST
There’s nothing better to do when it’s raining and cold outside than to sit down to a lovingly prepared meal with friends and family, or even indulge in a feast just for one. This is a tradition we can take directly from our experiences of Christmas, and put it right in the centre of our table in June. It’s the perfect time for roast veggies and meat (if you’re into that), soups, stews and even a spicy mulled wine.