In celebrations of the Winter Solstice around the world, you’ll find many traditions of yuletide cheer and spirituality. This event is the shortest day of the year and happens on December 21st in the northern hemisphere and on June 21st in this southern hemisphere.
Festivities take place before, during, and after the Winter solstice and have taken place for thousands of years. Many of the modern Christian traditions actually stem from ancient times when this was the main event of the year for thousands of years throughout many cultures.
Celebrate the Winter Solstice • 3 Ancient Traditions
Aromatic Yule Logs
The favorite of many, this tradition stems from antiquity and originated with Germanic tribes in Northern Europe. The Yule Log marks the start of the Winter Solstice. The preparation was quite detailed with a large tree trunk carefully selected and stored over the summer which seasons it to be ready for burning at Yuletide.
But for this celebration, you don’t just burn a plain old log! A lot of effort also goes into the decor of the log with pine boughs and cones. This is what creates the aroma and crackling sound and also doubles as kindling when you add other logs later.
According to Gypsy lore, to predict the happiness of the forthcoming celebration, they measure the brightness of the blaze from the burning yule log. In today’s world, you’ll see centerpieces of Yule Logs that also include candles. I love this smaller version. This way, anyone can celebrate with a Yule Log even if you don’t have a fireplace.
A more modern approach to this wonderful tradition is by baking a yule cake. In fact, when you search online for a yule log, the search results are mostly cakes! So, if a fireplace is not possible this year, bake a yule log cake! Here’s a paleo, dairy-free yule log cake recipe for you!
Stay Up to See the Sun Rise
This time-honored tradition sees in the sun of the new year ahead. While it may be difficult to keep young children up all night, this is an event revered by many to welcome the sun back to begin warming the earth yet again. It’s a spiritual celebration of eternal earthly cycles of rebirth.
Decorate in Winter Solstice Style
Nothing brims with an ancient style more than candles and potpourri. Keep it neutral in earthy tones or jazz it up with the more festive holly berry red and green. Consider this yummy smelling Yuletide Cinnamon candle from 1803 Candles. Fresh boughs drape the hearth, wooden bowls are filled with berries and cinnamon fills the air.
I love this large bowl of cinnamon spice scented potpourri that includes a luxurious assortment of pine cones, dried leaves, pods, nuts, and blossoms as well as berries and gold accents. What a lovely potpourri to pour into your favorite vintage crystal bowl.
Enjoy the Season with Your Family & Friends
However you choose to celebrate the Winter Solstice this year, I hope you’ve gained some inspiration from this post. I wish you the warmest and happiest of holidays for you, your family, and guests as you entertain and enjoy the festivities of this traditional, spiritual, and wonderful Winter Solstice season.