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Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

The winter solstice began today, Tuesday, 12/21/2021, 10:59 a.m., EST.  The solstice happens twice a year, once in each hemisphere.  The winter solstice is the day with the shortest amount of daylight and the longest night of the year when the Sun is at its lowest point in the sky. In the Northern Hemisphere where I live, the winter solstice is December 21 this year while in the Southern Hemisphere, the winter solstice is in June.

For centuries, peoples of the world have celebrated this darkest night of the year and the return of the sun in many different ways, but often include ceremonies and rituals of purification, dancing and sometimes the giving of gifts.  In the Hopi tradition of the SW United States, this has included a welcome of the kachinas, the protective spirits from the mountains.  The winter solstice represents a significant time of year in many cultures, celebrating and honoring the symbolic death and rebirth of the Sun.  There are too many to talk about here, but you might want to read about ancient rituals and festivals from around the world.

For those of you reading this today, consider turning off the lights tonight, take a hot bath in special salts or herbs, reflect, set an intention regarding the return of the light, ritualize the eating of a special food or something else that feels like an act of special recognition.  For those of you reading this another day or night, it’s not too late to ritualize the moment-any moment- and set an intention of spreading light in your world.

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