the longest night
Photo from inside the chamber at Newgrange, Winter Solstice of 2004, by Alan Betson
Once again in the northern hemisphere it is the winter solstice - the shortest day and longest night of the year, the first day of winter. It amazes me how very many cultures around the world have celebrations around this time. If I were able to choose a special and ancient way to celebrate, I'd go to Newgrange.
Instead I'll be happily continuing preparations for Christmas here at home, looking forward to Joulu (Finnish for Christmas). I baked Christmas bread yesterday, and today I'm making two kinds of cookies. Then there's the house to clean and food to restock and prepare for the feasts. We take immense pleasure in the lights of candles, wood fires and Christmas light strings to brighten these long dark nights.
Happy winter solstice to all, however you may celebrate!