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How To Celebrate The Magic Of Winter Solstice

Dec 13, 2023

The solstice represents a major turning point, which offers us a wonderful opportunity for connection and grounding. This quiet seasonal milestone is truly worth taking time out for!  

In this blog, we want to share some of our favorite ways to celebrate the winter solstice on your own or with your loved ones!

What is the winter solstice?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice is an annual celebration of the longest and darkest night of the year which has traditions dating back as far as 10,200 B.C.

The winter solstice is the point of the year at which the sun's path in the sky is farthest south. This means that the sun travels the shortest path across the sky, giving us the shortest day of the year with the least sunlight and, subsequently, the longest night. One of the most magical things about this special day is that the winter darkness is at its deepest, which has been celebrated as a promise of brighter days ahead

At the time of the Solstice, the Earth's North Pole is pointing away from the sun (which is why it’s much colder in the northern hemisphere). On the other spectrum, the South Pole points towards the sun for people living in the southern hemisphere, making it summertime 'down under', and a celebration of the Summer solstice.

The winter solstice is a major tipping point, a moment of stillness that allows the balance of the seasonal scales to begin tilting towards the light again. Humans across cultures and continents have been aware of this important day and celebrated the longest night as a marker of new life and warmth returning. It’s important to remember that it also marks the beginning of the increase of daylight hours until the Summer Solstice arrives and darkness ascends again.

Originating from Roman, Scandinavian and many other traditions, a range of rituals have been observed, from feasting to fasting to burning ceremonial logs. There are many ways that communities have gathered to celebrate the returning of the sun. What these traditions all have in common is a shared honoring of the dark from which light will emerge.  

When is the winter solstice?

This year, the winter solstice will occur on Friday 22nd of December, and after the shortest day, the following days will get longer and the nights shorter. 

An interesting fact is that the word “solstice” comes from the Latin “solstitium”, meaning “Sun stands still” because the apparent movement of the Sun's path (north or south) stops before changing direction. During the winter solstice, the sun's apparent position reaches its most southerly point against the background stars.

Our favorite ways to celebrate the winter solstice

Even though the darkness of the solstice might make us feel more lethargic and unmotivated than during the rest of the year, starting a winter solstice celebration tradition will help us make the most of this significant time. 

So let’s look at 3 simple ways to honor and celebrate the winter solstice from the comfort of our home whilst allowing ourselves some time to weave small rituals into our day to create space to connect with the season, ourselves, and those who are dear to us.

1. Host a Sound Bath

Sound baths are a truly beautiful tradition for celebrating the Winter Solstice.

This is a time to encourage healing for yourself and others, while also sharing the power of healing sounds with friends and family who may not be familiar with sound healing. Using Tibetan singing bowls, crystal singing bowls, and gongs is especially beneficial as these instruments can connect with lunar energy.

As you conduct your sound bath, encourage your clients to focus on the gratitude of the season, looking forward to longer, warmer days with the returning of the sun. With the metamorphosis from dark to light, we can also embrace new opportunities and areas of growth for the coming year. You might like to light some candles to represent the emerging light.  

2. Facilitate a Sound Circle

Joining together with friends and family is an amazing way to celebrate the solstice!

What better way to express connection with others than through sound. Find a place where you and your loved ones can sit in a circle – around a fire, under the moonlight, in a cozy room – and place percussion instruments around the circle.

Begin by having one person use his/her voice (or a singing bowl) to share one long note. As time continues, have each member of the circle add their voices to the mix as you tone together, creating a powerful resonance as you connect with one another.

Then, using the percussion instruments, establish a strong, steady rhythm, and begin building from  that rhythm together. Allow this to be a creative space as you laugh and experiment.  Allow any stress or negativity to flow out of you as you rest firmly in the present moment.

You may even find or create a short mantra to welcome the light and celebrate the longer days to come!

3. Reset Your Energy for the Year Ahead

Sound healing can offer an opportunity to find deep restorative rest, to draw back from the act of doing during this busy festive season, and instead, to journey into the embodiment of being.

Stillness, connection and grounding can all be found through breath and sound so we can pause and turn inward whilst tapping into our innate healing potential.

Find a quiet place in your home or outside where you can sit on a blanket and place your instruments around you. Place your right hand on your heart and your left hand on your stomach. As you feel the beating of your heart and the rise and fall of your breath, take a moment to reflect on all you have accomplished during the year.

After several minutes, begin playing your instruments. If you have a weighted tuning fork, this is a great time to perform a chakra balance. If you are using crystal or Tibetan singing bowls, begin with a C note at the base of your body and continue to increase vibrations from your root chakra all the way to your crown chakra.

For those of you with drums, percussion instruments, or wind instruments, hold your instrument close to your body and play gentle rhythms/melodies and focus on the vibration you feel from the instrument.

At the end of your self-healing session, focus on your intentions for the next year. Visualize the future you want to experience, believing it is already yours, and play one last note on your instrument of choice. As soon as the vibration stops, slowly open your eyes, give a shout of joy, and embrace the beauty the new year brings.

Final Thoughts

However you choose to celebrate this year, we wish you all a magical and joyous winter solstice! May we all shine brightly in the coming year whilst also taking the much-needed time to rest and reset within the darkness of midwinter.

We encourage you to welcome the feeling of celebration into your life, home, and heart as often as you can!

If you would like to learn more about how to unlock the power of healing sounds in your life, try out one of our online or in-person sound healing courses and follow us on social media. 

Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

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