It’s here! Today marks the first official day of winter in the northern hemisphere. Knowing as the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice marks the return of the light. Slowly the days will grow longer and the night shorter.
How to Celebrate the Winter Solstice
People around the globe celebrate the Winter Solstice in many ways. If you are looking for simple ways to celebrate the start of the winter season with your family, consider the following ideas.
Go for a Nature Walk
Even if the sun is starting to set, go outdoors. Tonight, after sunset, look just above the horizon to view Jupiter and Saturn’s rare alignment. The lining up of the two planets will create a rare appearance of light, also known as the Christmas star. Here are a few tips for your nature walk after dark.
- Dress appropriately. Remember to wear layers to keep warm.
- Carry your cell phone, but put the device on vibrate.
- Use a flashlight if needed.
- Remember to walk in a known location for safety. Walking on a familiar path is essential if the sun is setting.
Go to the Library
On your walk or car ride, go to your local library to check out books about the Winter Solstice. Some quick title suggestion includes:
- The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
- The Return to Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for Winter Solstice
- The Winter Solstice
Your local library, online shopping center, or bookstore has numerous books related to the Winter Solstice.
Combine your Winter Solstice celebration with your dinner. Host a special family night meal.
- A hearty Winter Solstice Soup to help you stay warm.
- Swedish Saffron Buns or create bread in the shape of the sun to welcome back the light-filled days.
- Mulled Wine, Hot Tea, or Eggnog
- Winter Salad
- Brussel Sprouts
- Butternut Squash
- Bake a cake in the shape of a Yule Log
- Use nature and winter-themed items to decorate a cake.
Feed the Birds
Long winter nights mean less available food for birds. Add extra seeds to your bird feeder. Or decorate a tree with edible food for the birds to enjoy.
Make Nature Crafts
Use items from your nature walk for crafting. Pine cones, small twigs, or acorns are perfect materials for wreaths and other nature-inspired crafts.
The Winter Solstice is a once a year event. Even if you just decide to curl up under a comforter with a good book, take a moment out of your busy work, school, or holiday schedule to celebrate the longest night.