Merry Solstice!

Hi this is Leslie Harris, and today marks the Winter Solstice.

The Solstice will be exact at 9:27 tonight, central time. Today is the shortest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere, and it is the first day of winter, and is also known as Yule.

The word Solstice is derived from Latin, meaning soul, and to stand still, because it looks like the sun is standing still.
The Solstice marks the beginning of the year in many cultures, or the birth of the Sun, as the days will now continue to get longer. Here are some ways that people around the world celebrate the Winter Solstice:

Some believe that it is time to say goodbye to the old, release the dark and welcome the light, both literally and spiritually.

The Christmas tree is actually a pre Christian Yuletide symbol. The lights of the tree welcome the light of the longer days.

Some people make winter solstice lanterns, to remind us of the light that emanates from our hearts and homes.

Others light a yule log, symbolizing reigniting the Sun. Traditionally a yule log fire is kept burning all night as a symbol of light on the darkest night.

All of these festivals notate this darkest time of year, and all of them incorporate bringing light.

So light a candle, say goodbye to this year, and welcome in the new!