Today is Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year marking the official onset of winter. The December and June solstices used to play an important role in the lives of many people. Ancient stone circles and monuments were constructed to align to sunrises or sunsets on solstices. Cultures throughout the world to this day are still influenced by traditions linked to observance of the December (winter in my part of the world) solstice.
Today is also the day that the current Mayan Long Count calendar comes to an end and some have taken this to mean the Mayans had predicted this was the ‘End of Time’. This has fueled many ‘End of the World’ groups to promote various theories. The Mayans themselves say this is nonsense, the calendar is based on cycles of time and the current calendar cycle is coming to the end of the 13th Baktun. A Baktun is 144,000 days in length. As the 13th Baktun ends the cycle returns to the beginning and heralds the start of the 14th Baktun.
It is also the time of year that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. Most people in England celebrate at this time of year, although the original meaning has been lost to many.
There are now only 4 sleeps till Christmas morning… The Turkey and trimmings are all organised, the trees are up with their lights twinkling, the presents are wrapped and some of them have even been given to their recipients. Apart from a few last minute items needed from the shops there is nothing else left to do except relax and put my feet up.
The photo I have chosen for this post is one of the numerous Christmas trees that have been decorated in Attingham House on the Attingham Estate in 1920s style for the Christmas season. The decorations on this tree are quite simple; they are white lights and origami birds (doves I think). Each bird is inscribed with hand written words, a wish for the season. On a table to the side there was a notice asking people to add their own wishes.
My wish is for love, peace and understanding between individuals and nations.
What would you wish for?
In addition to my ‘wish’ I hope that you and your loved ones enjoy the peace of the season and have a happy and peaceful New Year,