When we think of winter solstice images of cold, dark, early evenings come to mind. It is the shortest day of the year, the longest night. The start of winter. At noon on December 21 the sun reaches its southernmost point, the Tropic of Capricorn. Six months later, earth’s orbit allows the Tropic of Cancer to take centre stage for summer solstice.
It is the shortest day of the year, the longest night. The start of winter.
The word solstice is derived from Latin solstitium, from sol, “sun” and –stitium, “a stoppage.” At solstice the sun seemingly stops and changes direction. This change in direction is the reason for the different seasons at opposite ends of the world at the same time. While the earth orbits the sun, it also spins on its axis, which is tilted 23.5 degrees towards the plane of its rotation. Because of the tilt, during winter solstice the northern hemisphere receives less direct sunlight (winter) while the southern hemisphere receives more direct sunlight (summer).
For me winter solstice marks the start of longer days and shorter nights: a dark, cold, slow trek back to summer. Thankfully, the Roundhouse Winter Solstice Lantern Festival is here to illuminate the path this chilly season and provide a warm glow of community with a multicultural array of lanterns, fire, singing, dancing, music and storytelling.
For me winter solstice marks the start of longer days and shorter nights: a dark, cold, slow trek back to summer.
Lantern making workshops are available from now until 6pm on solstice night. The Secret Lantern Society offers several workshops for pinprick, globe and star styled lantern making. Once completed, bring your lanterns and join us on solstice night, December 21, 2013 at the Roundhouse. The gymnasium will house over 700 pure beeswax candles formed into a mesmerizing labyrinth. While walking the beautifully illuminated pathway with the processional drums beating in the background we encourage you to contemplate and meditate on the year that was and the year that will be; a personal yet communal ceremony.
By Chantelle Jones, Roundhouse Blog Team. A Welsh girl living in Vancouver. Looking for new challenges. Spending my days operating a successful small business and my nights doing yoga, bootcamps and blogging. Sometimes I see my friends and movies too!