‘Tis the season when many cultures and traditions herald the return of the light into the dark winter world — and this year’s winter solstice promises to do that in a big way, with a full moon on Dec. 21.
Since 1793, when The Old Farmer’s Almanac began tracking heavenly events and seasonal changes, the moon has been full on the first day of winter just nine times.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come!” These words from Handel’s Messiah resonate with meaning for me at Christmas. My own celebration is likewise enriched by the multitude of traditions around the world that honor the return of light to the world during the darkest days of the year.
The light starts returning today. Why not mark the Winter Solstice (December 21) as an ongoing celebration over the next few days and weeks?
A tradition began on December 21, 1994 when 23 intrepid souls braved the freezing weather at the construction site that was to become the Real Goods Solar Living Center. We built a fire and huddled around to see if we did our geometry correctly. We designed the Solar Living Center to be a temple to the sun. If we did it right, we would see the winter solstice sun set directly over our local mountain of power, Duncan Peak.