Solstice blessings from The Wild Hunt

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TWH – It’s our tradition here at The Wild Hunt to do a round-up of events that occur around this time of year. It is a busy time between Samhain and the close of the calendar year culminating in Yule known also as Alban Arthuan. They range from ancient festivals celebrating the darkest time of the year like Saturnalia, Tekufat Tevet and Yalda Night to the more recent traditions like Festivus and Burning the Clocks.

Upton Winter Solstice ritual 2015 [courtesy]

It is a joyous time of the year, celebrating the cessation of the growing dark and the promise of the returning light. In Rome, solstice festivals merged to become the festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the days of the birth of the unconquered sun. With Saturnalia and Kronia ending, the ancients of the northern hemisphere rejoiced yearly at the sun’s return.

This year the December solstice occurs on Sunday, December 22, at 04:19 UTC or 11:19 PM on US East Coast and 8:19 PM on the US West Coast.  Our friends in the north celebrate Yule, while our friends in the southern hemisphere celebrate Midsummer.

During this time when the Arctic is shrouded in darkness, Reykjavik will see sunrise at about 11:22 AM local time and sunset at about 3:29 PM, for a day length of 4 hours, 7 minutes, and 13 seconds. Meanwhile, Cape Town will see the sun rise at 5:32 AM local time and set at 7:57 PM, for a day length of 14 hours, 25 minutes, and 5 seconds. Miami will have a day length of 10:31:48, while San Francisco will have 9:32:53 of sunlight and Melbourne, Victoria, 14:47:23.

Holly in snow [McKay Savage, Wikimedia Commons]

From all of us at The Wild Hunt, we thank you again for all your support.  Our readers make our work possible through your sharing of our stories, your comments and criticism of the stories, and, of course, your donations (there’s a link at the top of the article if you feel so motivated). Most of all, we are grateful for your visits and for our community.

Whether it breaks through the deepest dark or at the height of abundant light, may the break from the rising sun bring many blessings to our world-wide community.

Happy solstice!

At TWH, we are in the northern hemisphere, so we leave you with a few links to some songs that we enjoy at this time of year.

Sung by amazingly talented Eivør Pálsdóttir, Dansaðu Vindur [Dance Wind] is amazing.


Next, we have Kaval Siri singing  “The Flute Plays,” a Slavic traditional from Bulgaria.


SJ Tucker sings “Solstice Night.”


From the American Women’s Vocal Ensemble, Kitka sings the Macedonian folk song “Ogrejala Mesečina” [The Moon Shines].


Karina Skye sings “Wiccan Wonderland.”


Emerald Rose sings “Santa Claus is Pagan Too.”

and finally “On Midwinter’s Day” by Damh The Bard


A postscript note:  As the southern hemisphere is experiencing summer, we have two songs for the summer solstice: a classic, our usual, and a somewhat more recent one.