Tag Archives: Winter solstice

today’s holiday: Dongji (2014)


Dongji (2014)

In Korea, the Winter Solstice falls during the 11th lunar month. Red bean stew with glutinous rice flour balls is a favorite seasonal dish, particularly on Dongji. This food is not only eaten as a means of warding off disease—it is also offered to the family ancestors, spread around the front door or gate of the house, and, throughout the year, prepared and taken to people who are in mourning. The color red is traditionally thought to repel evil spirits and all misfortune. More… Discuss

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today’s holiday: Halcyon Days


Halcyon Days

The ancient Greeks called the seven days preceding and the seven days following the Winter Solstice the “Halcyon Days.” Greek mythology has it that Halcyone (or Alcyone), Ceyx‘s wife and one of Aeolus’s daughters, drowned herself when she learned her husband had drowned. The gods took pity on her and transformed them both into kingfishers. Zeus commanded the seas to be still during these days, and it was considered a period when sailors could navigate in safety. Today, the expression “halcyon days” has come to mean a period of tranquility often used as a nostalgic reference to times past. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: St. Lucy’s Day


St. Lucy’s Day

According to tradition, St. Lucy, or Santa Lucia, was born in Syracuse, Sicily, in the 3rd or 4th century. Her day is widely celebrated in Sweden as Luciadagen, which marks the official beginning of the Christmas season. It is traditional to observe Luciadagen by dressing the oldest daughter in the family in a white robe tied with a crimson sash. Candles are set into her crown, which is covered with lingonberry leaves. The “Lucia Bride” wakes each member of the household on the morning of December 13 with a tray of coffee and special saffron buns or ginger cookies. More… Discuss

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ARTICLE: THE GOSECK CIRCLE


The Goseck Circle

Hailed as “the German Stonehenge,” the Goseck circle is a Neolithic structure in Goseck, Germany. It is the oldest such structure known today, built about 7,000 years ago—and pre-dating Stonehenge by almost 2,000 years. Rediscovered during an aerial survey in 1991, the site consists of a circular ditch 246 feet (75 m) across surrounding two concentric palisade rings with gates in spots aligned with the sunrise and sunset on the winter solstice. When was the Goseck Circle re-opened to the public? More… Discuss

 

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