Today, December 21st, is Winter Solstice, officially the first day of winter. The northern hemisphere of the earth is pointed the farthest away from the sun and, tonight begins its slow return towards it until the June Solstice of 2018. The ancient tradition of Yuletide, one of the oldest winter celebrations in Europe began this morning and will end on January 1st, 2018. Last year, 2016, Hanukah, a festival of lights, coincided almost exactly with Yuletide, from December 20th to January 1st. Yuletide was a fire festival celebrated by the Northern Europeans. Pre-Zoroastrian Persians and ancient Romans celebrated something similar before the common era. The most enduring British tradition from Yuletide is the Yule Log, a small firestarter from a larger bonfire that was shared with many households by landowners in England. Evergreen trees were fashioned into wreaths and other decorations for the interior of the house for their refreshing smell. The Brits still make cakes fashioned into Yule logs and, of course, we still bring in pine trees, decorate them with lights, but now we call it Christmas. Happy Solstice!
47˚F at 9am, overcast and raining. This morning the evergreens twinkled in the rain while a new winter sun rose behind a thick veil of cloud cover to mark the Winter Solstice and the ancient tradition of Yuletide.
26F at 7am, overcast with thick, foggy cloud cover, sun just managing to break through mid-morning amidst light flurries. 36F by 12.30pm, branches dripping with melting snow.
An overnight dusting of snow had clad every branch with fresh powder. 30F at midday. The afternoon sky appears to be a hologram varying between gunmetal grey and chalky white. Today is Winter Solstice, officially the first day of winter, which is hard to believe because it started snowing in November, not including a little test run back in October. The northern hemisphere of the earth is pointed the farthest away from the sun and, tonight begins its slow return towards it until the June Solstice of 2015. The ancient tradition of Yuletide began at sundown last night and will end on January 1st, 2015.