The Winter Solstice astronomically, is when (from our perspective) the earth has stretched as far as it will in its pirouette facing away from the sun. From this point forth, the days will gradually get longer, and nights gradually shorter. All hail, things are swinging back around; the cycle begins again!
Culturally, the Winter Solstice celebrates the return of the light. Countless cultures have celebrated the Solstice and held midwinter feasts and rituals to welcome the Sun. Because of its significance, celebrations of rebirth and light have been held for centuries, and it always occurs with respect to the Earth’s Cycle. Historically, the dates of Christian holidays were gradually merged to blend with the midwinter festivities.
Nowadays we recognize our collage of spiritual and cultural traditions. But while we acknowledge things like Hanukah as the celebration of the miracle of light, Christmas as the birth of Jesus, or “the holidays” as simply a chance to get together with friends and family to eat, drink, and be merry, it would be wise for us to celebrate the Season itself. So easily have we come to see the holidays for the hustle and bustle, and all the pressures that accompany them. Jolly ol’ St. Nick and the presents under the tree aside, the Winter Solstice is soon upon us!
And there is a Celebration planned. There is a Winter Solstice Parade planned for Wentworth Park, on Monday December 21 at 6:30pm beginning by the gazebo. All are welcome, especially little ones. This Parade is intended for you to join right in!
The Cape Breton Earth Day Society is hosting the parade, and offers a little guidance: “[We welcome] creativity, sense of community, music, things from nature, things reused and recycled, homemade items, masks, crafts, twig head wreaths, feathers, torches, lanterns, etc. etc. etc.”
“We don’t want to involve Advertisements, anything that is motorized (except for wheelchairs/scooters) or requires the use diesel, gas, fuels, or electricity. Try your best not to use items that require batteries. Also try not to use your car to get to the event if you live close by. If you don’t live close by, carpool so that the number of cars being driven to the parade is less.”
Bring your drums, shakers, bells, and dress warmly. Wear masks if you like, twirl ribbons, or carry sparklers. Organizer Marcie Smith McKay suggests you check out this link to get inspired.
So step out of the Holiday mayhem, take a walk down to Wentworth Park on the Solstice (21st) with the kids. Make some homemade shakers – put dried spaghetti in a pop bottle, or beans in a jar. Recognize the changing seasons and take part in a true Parade. Celebrate the winter for all the good things it brings us, and celebrate the coming light.