Midwinter Cottage and Solstice Celebrations

22 Dec

The Plants of Christmas

The plants traditionally associated with Christmas were  Holly,Mistletoe, Ivy  and Common Yew. These trees and plants have had special roles in earlier religions and past cultures.

The Celts in Ireland  had midwinter festivals to celebrate the return of the sun from the shortest day.

In the 4th and 5th centuries, 25 December was gradually adopted as the date for Christmas in Europe in order to superimpose on the existing mid-winter festivals.

Evergreens

 The Roman festival of Saturnalia was a week of public feasting, dancing, singing and gambling. Houses were decorated with evergreens and bunches of holly were given as tokens of friendship. When this festival was absorbed into the Christian calendar, Holly and the other evergreens were absorbed as well.

Fire and Celebration

Midwinter Solstice marks the rebirth of the suns power.
The midwinter fire is the  symbol of death and rebirth – going from the darkness into the light.
I have celebrated the Midwinter Solstice with a traditional fire, food and drink with family and friends.

In The Bleak Midwinter

 In the bleak mid-winter 
  Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, 
  Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, 
  Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
  Long ago.        
 ~ Christina Rossetti

Ascent To Spring

The fire will burn into the night and as is the custom, I will use an ember to light the stove here at Bealtaine Cottage in the morning. So the ritual of the Midwinter and the longest night will be over.
Tomorrow begins the ascent to Spring and the light.

3 Responses to “Midwinter Cottage and Solstice Celebrations”

  1. sheof108names December 23, 2011 at 4:26 am #

    Great post. I like the death and rebirth symbolism – from darkness to light. I did a similar post if you have time to read … http://sheof108names.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/the-true-colour-of-christmas/

    • PermaGoddess December 23, 2011 at 8:59 am #

      Beautiful images of the Midwinter festival…beautiful post…thanks for the link!
      Colx

  2. Tanya @ Lovely Greens December 22, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    Beautiful poem…and a happy Solstice to you too :)

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