Merry Meet All,
Winter Solstice occurs on December 21 in the Northern Hemisphere. There are twenty-four hours of sunlight south of the Antarctic circle. It is the longest night of the year. Winter Solstice is a time for celebration to coax back the sun. The Latin term for solstice is sun set still. Winter Solstice is the stillness before the Sun’s strength returns. It is time to reflect on the fruitful dark earth from which life eventually emerges.
The Celts celebrated Solstice by holding bonfires to keep darkness away. The year’s shortest day and longest night was honored with the coming dawn. The Sun had won over darkness. The Sun was reborn. The Norse held feasts to honor the Solstice.
This marked the “nether” time that began at Samhain, when the spirits roamed freely across the land. The otherworldly portals closed for another year. The time for the growing light nears, the time of the spring Equinox approaches.
The Yule celebration comes from the legendary battle between the Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King represents the light half of the year and the Oak King represents the dark half of the year.
ORIGINS OF SANTA CLAUS
There are a few theories about the origins of Santa Claus. He was originally based on St. Nicholas, an early fourth-century Bishop from Turkey. He was influenced from early Norse religion. If you know your lore and mythology, then you may have guessed at who I am referring to. Yes, Odin. Odin wore a long white beard much like Santa.
Odin had a mighty horse called Sleipnir, who had eight legs. Sleipnir was compared to the eight reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh. Sleipnir could leap great distances.
During the winter, children would leave offerings in their boots near the chimney, filling the boots with treats for Sleipnir. Odin rewarded them with treats. The tradition survived the adoption of Christianity. Today we hang stockings rather than boots by the chimney. The Dutch settlers called him SinterKlaas, which later became Santa Claus. That is the origin of Santa Claus.