The Winter Solstice
We are at the end of the year, which brings us to our last quarter of the Celtic calendar, the Winter Solstice, also known as Yule.
It's known as a time of rebirth and renewal. It marks the shortest day of the year, December 21st. The days following this become slowly longer, symbolising the rebirth and hope for brighter days. People feel a relief knowing the days will become longer, much like our ancient ancestors!
There were many ancient Celtic celebrations held at this time. Similar to the traditions we celebrate today, such as feasting, gathering with family, decorating with holly and mistletoe, and fire burning yule logs. These traditions all root back to Celtic times.
But the main event for many is at Newgrange, Co Meath. From the 18th to the 23rd of December, a narrow beam of golden sunlight shines through this ancient tomb at sunrise. For those lucky enough to bear witness to this astronomical phenomenon, it is a spectacular and once in a lifetime event!
We wish you all a Nollaig Shona Duit from Trad Nua!