The celebration of the Winter Solstice is rooted in ancient religions. Throughout history, humans have observed this seasonal milestone and created spiritual and cultural traditions to celebrate the rebirth of sunlight after the darkest period of the year.
The term solstice means “sun stands still.” On the year’s two solstices (winter and summer) the sun appears to halt in its incremental journey across the sky and change little in position during this time.
Symbolically, as well as astronomically, the Winter Solstice is a major turning point in the year. We are offered the opportunity to reflect on the season passed and the season to come, and to consider what no longer serves us, what we wish to let go, and what we would like to take forward into the new phase of the cycle.
(an extract from National Geographic, 2002)