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The Meaning of Yule and a Winter Solstice Activity to Connect You with the Season

Chistmas TreeHippies are just as excited as anyone at this time of year, because it’s Yuletide, season of gift-giving, mythical kings and the returning light. But what on earth is the Winter Solstice all about, and how can it be celebrated?

What is the Winter Solstice?

This year, the Winter Solstice falls on Wednesday 21st December. It’s the shortest day – and the longest night – of the year, which seems a strange thing to celebrate. But it means that from next Wednesday onwards, the days will start lengthening again and will continue to lighten until the Summer Solstice in June. This is why it’s traditionally a time for bringing lights, such as Christmas lights and candles, into your home – to welcome the returning light.

The Holly King and the Oak King

In myth, the year is spilt into two – a light half and a dark half. The light half belongs to the Oak King, who battles and defeats the Holly King at Yule. At the Summer Solstice, the Holly King triumphs and begins his reign.

Are you celebrating Yule already?

Most Christmas traditions can be traced back to older Yuletide rituals. So, if you love Christmas, you’re probably already celebrating the Winter Solstice, too. Been decking the halls? Fir trees, holly and Ivy are evergreens and represent eternal renewal. Decorating with evergreens is a great way to celebrate the death of one year and the rebirth of another in the eternal cycle of life. Think of your golden baubles and glittery star ornaments as mini suns welcoming more sunshine in as the wheel turns to the light half of the year.

Warming spices are a Yuletide staple in feasts and mulled drinks. Why not fill your home with the scents of Yule, too – with our Myrrh Incense Sticks or Natural Frankincense Sticks? Yule should be a feast for all the senses.

Winter Solstice and the sunriseWinter Solstice Sunrise

One of the most meaningful ways to celebrate this time of year is to watch the sunrise on the Winter Solstice. Sunrise on December 21st will be at around 8am – which could make it tricky to get to work on time! Check the time of the sunrise in your local area. There will be over 40 minutes’ difference between sunrise in London and sunrise in Aberdeen on that day!

Remember to dress warmly if you’re planning to observe this tradition and welcome the dawn. We can remember one memorably cold Winter Solstice morning during which a hippy hat, scarf, gloves, wool-lined boots and a wool poncho just didn’t cut it, and emergency brandy had to be deployed!

Winter Solstice survival kit

If you decide to brave the elements this Yule, make sure to wear plenty of warm gear. Ladies – combine a fleece lined wool hippy jacket with a gorgeous acrylic hippy festival poncho for maximum toastiness. Long, fleece-lined wool hippy socks are an absolute must during this festival of light, as is a cheery snowflake hippy hat in wool and recycled silk. And gents, you can’t go wrong with one of our Nepalese fleece lined wool hippy jackets and a woolly fleece lined over the ear hippy hat. Cosy!

Wishing you a very merry Yule and a magical (warm!) Winter Solstice from all of us at Mystical Mayhem Hippy Clothing.