Winter Solstice Day 2020
Not everyone in our time remembers exactly the day when the winter solstice comes. Most devote the last December days to preparing for the celebration of the New Year, Christmas, buying gifts, inventing a festive menu. For our ancestors, however, it was a very important day. He was associated with the turn of nature to revival, endowed with special meaning, filled with traditions.
When will the winter solstice in 2020
Many out of habit think that the longest night falls on December 22nd. Most often it is, but in a leap year, which will be 2020, it will be a day earlier and will come on December 21st. On this day, the Sun rises to the lowest possible height, and the earth's axis tilts towards it as much as possible. The North Pole will plunge into the polar night, characterized by the fact that the sun will not rise above the horizon. Immediately after this, day after day, the daylight hours will increase, and the dark will decrease.
In 2020, Winter Solstice falls on Monday, December 21st. This is the date of the shortest day of the year, and the longest night.
People have long associated the winter solstice with the beginning of a new annual cycle, the rebirth of the Sun, nature. After the longest night, the day finally began to gradually increase, which gave hope for happiness, wealth, a good harvest. Today, the main meaning of the holiday in many cultures has been moved to Christmas, New Year.
History of the holiday
Millennia ago, people were anxious about the Sun, the light and heat bestowed on them. Many peoples made associations between the winter solstice and the struggle between light and darkness, into which the dark principle receded under the power and might of light. They knew about the solstice in the Neolithic era. Direct evidence of this is the layout of some archaeological buildings, including Newgrange and Stonehenge. Their axes are aligned so that they clearly correspond to the direction of sunrise and sunset on this day. The importance of the astronomical event was historically associated with the fact that it marked a transition to a difficult time associated with cold and hunger. A little more, and the stocks prepared for the winter were running out.
Ancient Greece and Rome
Many cultures associated the solstice with rebirth, the meeting of deities. So, in ancient Greece, the god of the underworld Hades rose to Olympus. On this date calendars were lined up, the beginning of a new annual cycle was given. The new period became a symbol of everything new. In Russia there was a saying: "the sun - for the summer, winter - for the frost."
In ancient Rome, saturnalia were held from December 17 to December 23, dedicated to the god Saturn, who, from the point of view of the Romans, introduced agriculture and gave people culture. During the holiday they gave gifts, sacrificed pigs. It is curious that on this day the rights of slaves and masters were equalized. Sitting at the same table, they could taste holiday dishes together.
Since ancient times, all Slavs celebrated the day of Karachun or Korochun, as it was called in a different way. Under this name was the angry god of winter hiding winter cold and sleep. Later it was renamed to Frost. They depicted him in legends as an old man with gray hair, covering ice with water, spreading frost.
Europe and China
An analogue of saturnalia in Europe was a cycle of holidays dedicated to the gods, lasting 12 days. Welcomed the rebirth of nature. In the culture of the ancient Germans, Saturnalia correlated with Yole. On the shortest day, the King of Oak wakes up. He began to warm the earth, contributed to the germination of seeds. Later saturnalia became part of the Christmas, New Year celebrations. A special tree was decorated in Yule, a log was burned, gifts were exchanged, and the house was decorated.
In ancient China, the solstice marked the beginning of one of 24 seasons. He was associated with the awakening of masculine power, the birth of happiness. Everyone, even the emperor, rested.
Folk customs and traditions
Attention paid to the day of the solstice, contributed to the emergence of many customs, rituals. So in Russia, the elder in charge of the clock was allowed to the tsar and reported that from now on the day would gradually increase.
Immediately after the solstice, the Eastern Slavs glorified the sun god - Kolyada, which marked the coming of the new year. In his honor, they sang, danced, gave gifts. They must have been generous, only this way the new year will bring wealth and happiness. Slices of bread were hung on the trees in the forest, watered with drinks from the top, always sweet. This should have helped to get a good harvest. A round loaf was necessarily baked on Kolyada.
The image of the annual cycle, embodied in the circle, was present in many cultures. In Scotland, for example, a barrel filled with burning resin was launched from a hill. Bonfires were made in many countries. They were supposed to help the sun be born. Nowadays, on the solstice, it is recommended to conduct cleansing meditations, take healing baths, guess, make wishes.
What do the signs say
Not a single national holiday is complete without signs. The winter solstice is also associated with many:
- The peasants are waiting for a good grain crop, if the trees are in hoarfrost.
- It was believed that on a holiday you need to cut a branch of a cherry tree. If the flowers appear by Christmas, in the summer you can expect a large harvest of berries.
- Rain and slush portended a rainy spring.
- Calmness promised a good harvest of fruits.
- Clear, sunny weather meant a frosty New Year. Clouds and clouds foreshadowed the thaw.
Thanks to the video, learn more about Winter Solstice 2020: