-
x

Meet New Friends!

Recommended friends are based on your interests. Make sure they are up to date.

Friends
Kidzworld Logo

Winter Solstice

Dec 21, 2015

Winter is officially upon us with the first day of winter falling on December 22nd in 2015. Read on to learn more about this annual season change.

What Is It?

Winter solstice marks the beginning of winter and it's also the shortest day of the year. Because of the earth's tilt, on this day the Northern Hemisphere is as far away from the sun as it can be. Therefore, the first day of winter has the least amount of sunlight.

Celebrations

Solstice means "standing still sun" and has historically been a day for celebration . This tradition started with an ancient fear that the fading light would never return unless humans kept watch and had a huge celebration. Tons of cultures and societies have solstice celebrations. Here are some of the craziest highlights!

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the yearThe Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year

Ancient Greece

The winter solstice celebration was called Lenaia (Festival of the wild women). According to Greek myth, a man representing the harvest god Dionysus was sacrificed and then eaten by nine women! It was believed that Dionysus would be reborn as a baby when the ritual was complete. Eventually a goat was used as a sacrifice in place of the human for the ritual.

Winter Solstice scenery Winter Solstice scenery

Ancient Rome

Huge feasts were held and houses and halls were decorated with boughs of evergreen trees. Roman masters feasted with slaves and slaves were also allowed to do and say pretty much what they wanted, which was very different than what their everyday lives were like. Because this was such an important day, schools were closed, the army took a day of rest and no criminals were executed.

Pagan Scandinavia

Yule logs were burned because they believed the log could magically make the sun brighter. Europe and many other places still burn the Yule log, but it is now just a symbolic gesture. Scandinavians also listened to minstrel poets sing about ancient legends.

The Winter Solstice was celebrated by Druids and PagansThe Winter Solstice was celebrated by Druids and Pagans
 

Celtic Druids

Mistletoe was sacred to Druids. Druid priests used a golden sickle (kind of a hooked blade) to cut it from the tree it was growing on. Then they handed it out to the people, calling it All-Heal. The people hung it in a doorway or a room to offer goodwill to visitors. Mistletoe was forbidden in most Christian churches because of its Pagan associations.

Have Your Say

How do you celebrate winter solstice? Leave a comment and let us know!

 

66 Comments

Related Stories

Micro_winterleggings-micro
Looking for a way to stay warm this winter, but want to have a little fun with your style? Try so...
Micro_sled-micro
Sledding (or tobogganing) is a beloved winter pastime for lots of people, especially if you live ...
Micro_micro-snowglobe
The holidays are here! Now is the time to get presents for the ones you love. Not all presents ha...
Micro_beautiful_skin_micro
Winter can be harsh on your skin, making it dry, itchy, red, and worse. Protect and heal your ski...
Micro_december-micro
There are a ton of holidays to celebrate in the month of December - that's why it's known as the ...
F1103569649265

Which is NOT True of Winter Solstice?

  • Due to global warming, there will not be a winter solstice in 2014.
  • When it is winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere, it is summer solstice in the Southern.
  • There is no sunlight in the North Pole during the winter solstice.
  • Evidence of winter solstice rituals exists around the world.

Random In The Forums

unicornsrule626
"angelover4" wrote:in my opinion when ur at a younger age like 7 8  9 or 10.....youd like homeschooling better but wn u start getting older up into ur teen yrs I think public or private school is better cuz it gives u more of a social life. And its just better that way. because I've been homeschooled since 3rd grade and I'm in 8th grade now,  I have a very small social life. I have done stuff like dance and cheerleading but still, I only have one good friend (actually she is AWESOME!)
reply about 12 hours
unicornsrule626
"rainbowpoptart" wrote:It depends on the person. Homeschooling may be better for this guy, but public school may be better for that one. Overall, neither is "better" than the other. They both have their ups and downs, coming from someone who has [technically] done both.All of the problems, of course, can be fixed. I'll use the two most common complaints I hear as examples.Homeschooling doesn't give you enough social interaction with real life people? Go outside. Ask your local school if you can participate in any extracurriculars.You don't think the curriculum in public school is flexible enough for you, but you don't want to convert to homeschooling? There are plenty of educational books, videos, and websites that are easily accessible online or from the library (seriously, Khan Academy and Crash Course saved my life, bless those men). nice! I have asked my local school but they refused because I'm not vaccinated (we don't believe in vaccines) but NY is one of the strictest  states for homeschool. we are moving and I might be able to go to high school but I could always stick with homeschool. With the social side, i have lots a lot of my social skills so now I'm really shy but i can work and fix that
reply about 12 hours
MarshmallowHeart
I'm 17, I joined Kidz World when I was 12! in just 3 months I'll be 18
reply about 12 hours
rainbowpoptart
It depends on the person. Homeschooling may be better for this guy, but public school may be better for that one. Overall, neither is "better" than the other. They both have their ups and downs, coming from someone who has [technically] done both. All of the problems, of course, can be fixed. I'll use the two most common complaints I hear as examples. Homeschooling doesn't give you enough social interaction with real life people? Go outside. Ask your local school if you can participate in any extracurriculars. You don't think the curriculum in public school is flexible enough for you, but you don't want to convert to homeschooling? There are plenty of educational books, videos, and websites that are easily accessible online or from the library (seriously, Khan Academy and Crash Course saved my life, bless those men).
reply about 12 hours
PunMaster
PunMaster posted in Say Anything:
("wow.. Maybe I can help you some time." PunMaster offered) he landed on a rock below, and Paperjam was about twenty ahead of him. "Great Job! Now let's go!" 
reply about 13 hours