The Winter Solstice is upon us! Also known as the shortest day and longest night of the year, the winter solstice usually takes place on December 21st or 22nd every year in the Northern Hemisphere. Many cultures around the world celebrate the solstice by holding festivals, and holidays. These celebrations were created to celebrate the return of light, and the joy of each day growing longer and longer.
The earth, as it turns out, has an axial tilt and daily rotation around the sun. As the earth follows its orbit around the sun it slowly tilts. The earth also has two hemispheres: northern and southern. When one hemisphere faces toward the sun (summer) the other hemisphere faces away from the sun (winter.) This is because the two hemisphere face opposite directions along the earth's axis. Now you know the science behind it. How about some activities to celebrate the solstice?
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The children and I made orange pomanders. Oranges symbolize the return of the sun. They are also lovely for decoration and the smell of cloves helps to freshen any room! All you need are a few oranges and whole cloves.
The cloves were a bit difficult for our daughter to push into the oranges so I helped her quite a bit. Our son on the other hand enjoyed this activity immensely. He took to making shapes with the cloves like spirals, leaf shapes, and even a pony!
Solstice Sun Bread
We took our favorite bread recipe but in honor of the winter solstice we shaped our loaf of bread into the shape of the sun!
Winter Solstice Books
Curl up with some fabulous books about the solstice and winter!