How do you celebrate the winter solstice

Winter solstice

Because from now on the light gradually returns to us. This occasion was celebrated in pagan times and is closely related to Christian Christmas customs.

The colder and darker it is outside, the more importance we attach to light. It penetrates the darkness, ends the darkness and gives life. No wonder that the worship of the sun and the returning light is based on traditions from prehistoric times. The lengthening days after the winter solstice embodied life and resurrection according to people's beliefs. The greater the difference between the harsh winter and the warm summer, the more intensely this change was celebrated in the individual cultures. In northern Europe, where the winter days are particularly short, the festival has always been more important than in southern Europe, for example.

Light festivals belonged above all in the Germanic, Nordic, Baltic, Slavic and Celtic everyday life. In the early Middle Ages (5th / 6th century AD) the Christian church reinterpreted these customs and began to celebrate the birth of Jesus ("the light of the world") on the same day. That way, the new faith should take hold more quickly. To this day, white is the color of light, hence the liturgical color for Christmas mass. Occasionally it is replaced by gold or silver to emphasize the festive character. Because people still lived according to the Julian calendar at that time, the winter solstice was on December 25th. Only with the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582 did it move forward by a few days. For Christmas, however, the old date was kept, so that it is now in the period of the sunlight returning to the north.