The Art of Home Education – * – Invision Education

Let the journey be shaped by the curiousity of the child…

Celebrating the Winter Solstice

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We are counting down the days to the Winter Solstice, which will be on Sunday December 21st. It is the shortest day of the year and we will be celebrating the returning of the light, the sun.
Here you can find another post about hibernation and the Winter Solstice, which I wrote a couple of years ago. It has more background information about the celebration.

The last couple of years we always had a big family dinner on the 21st and this year we will be celebrating with like minded people.

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I made a countdown calendar before with all kinds of fun stuff and today we talked about the Winter Solstice and what it stands for. We talked about the comparisons with Christmas. With both days, the (re)birth of the light is celebrated. The season table is changed to Yule and we collect items on our walks which we display on our table. The birthday ring is been transferred to a countdown to Yule, the 12 days of Yule. Every day we light a candle.

A lot of people have Christmas trees. But did you ever wonder why you have a decorated tree in your house during Christmastime? What does it stands for?
In the old days, people would get a tree in their house and decorate it with lights during these dark days. The lights represented the returning of the light. But that was not all, the lights also chased away bad spirits.

The Winter Solstice is a celebration of the light overcoming the dark. During the darkest day of the year, people celebrated the returning of the light. They ate everything from the harvest that they couldn’t keep fresh during the coming winter months. That’s why there would be an excess of food. Which, nowadays, is still done.

Activities

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We have been doing arts and crafts: We folded and cut out snowflakes. Also in preparation of Imbolc were we symbolically say goodbye to Winter and look for the signs of Spring, to welcome Spring.

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We made ornaments (decorate wooden trees and needle felt ornaments) for the tree and we decorated the tree.

We bake cookies.

We made a Parol and a couple of Waldorf Star Lanterns. These also make excellent gifts.

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We renew the season table and make it all about the Winter Solstice. We add the birthday ring from Grimm’s to countdown to Yule and on our walks we bring items home to add to the season table.

We love to color this huge tree from MrPrintable, which we have done for the last two years.

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We are reading stories:
* Geschenken in de Duisternis, a Dutch story written by Carolien Hansen
* Shortest Day Celebrating the Winter Solstice. This book explains what the Winter Solstice is and how it has been observed by various cultures throughout history. Many contemporary holiday traditions were borrowed from ancient solstice celebrations. The beginning of winter is marked by the solstice, the shortest day of the year. Long ago, people grew afraid when each day had fewer hours of sunshine than the day before. Over time, they realized that one day each year the sun started moving toward them again.
* The Velveteen Rabbit (short & long version)
* The very Smiley Snowman
* Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
* An Aussie Night before Christmas
* De kokkin van de elfen {Dutch}
* Een speciale kerstwens speciaal voor jou {Dutch}

We read the Pooka Pages
.

We watch movies:
Jack Frost (old version)
The Polar Express
The Snowman (Youtube)
Santa Claus is comin’ to town (old version) (YouTube)
Rise of the Guardians
The Grinch
Curious George: A very monkey Christmas (Netflix)
Journey to the Christmas Star (Netflix)

We go outside and see the lights, the decorated houses, trees the moon and the stars.

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A Question

And now I am curious. How do you spend those times towards the Winter Solstice or Christmas? What is your favourite part? Please share in the comments.

 

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4 comments on “Celebrating the Winter Solstice

  1. Pingback: Advent Calender 2014 | The Art of Home Education - * - Invision Education

  2. Pingback: World Religions: Faith Around the World Celebration

  3. Pingback: Our Program | The Art of Home Education - * - Invision Education

  4. Pingback: Waldorf Martinmas Lanterns  (tutorial) | The Art of Home Education - * - Invision Education

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