It’s the 21st of December today – the winter solstice or, if we’re being pedantic, it happens at exactly 4:48am tomorrow morning. I for one am looking forward to a little more light in my life!
It’s a day (or night) that has been celebrated for millennia by people around the world. From the druids at Stonehenge to the family gatherings for the Dongzhi Festival in China.
Many of the winter solstice customs are intertwined with those of Christmas. The pagan Scandinavian celebration of ‘Jul’ or Yule celebrates the god, Odin – who, with his long white beard, bears a striking resemblance to Father Christmas.
Advent starts on Sunday so you only have a couple of days left to get your hands on your advent calendars! They’ve been around since the 19th century and are traditionally used to celebrate the run up to, and prepare for, Christmas Day.
It wasn’t always about scoffing a chocolate a day – although I wholeheartedly agree with that undertaking – the 24 compartments once held a different bible verse, prayer or poem. How about filling them with something different and unique – handmade sweets, a daily artwork, ‘activity’ coupons or individual figures to slowly make up a nativity set? I like the idea of filling each of mine with an advent candle – or little scented tea lights like these from IKEA.