Midwinter, Yule, Winter Solstice, Longest Night… pick one! (In Paganism, not only is there no “one right way” there is apparently also no “one right name.”)
Am I the only person who has ever wondered how the 21st (ish) of December can be both “mid” winter and the first day of winter? That bugged me long before I found my way home to Paganism (as did the summer solstice = mid-summer/first day of summer) but once I learned about the Wheel of the Year it suddenly all made sense. Well, not the “mid” and “first” bit, but…
But… I found an approach to the seasons that made sense to me.
Samhain: Summer’s End (and the start of winter)
Imbolc: the start of Spring
Beltane: the start of Summer
Lughnassadh: the start of fall
Samhain: Summer’s (Fall’s) End.
So, my seasons are a little off-beat compared to the rest of the world, but so am I.
I’m currently giving semi-serious consideration to the idea of staying up all night to welcome the dawn on mid-winter’s day. I don’t have anything planned for the next day so I can be a zombie and no one would notice. (I’m pretty much a hermit so it’s a fair bet that no one would notice anyhow.)
Meanwhile, I thought I’d leave you with a little seasonal music:
“On Midwinter’s Day” by Damh the Bard:
“Santa Claus Is Pagan Too” by Emerald Rose:
“The Christians and the Pagans” by Dar Williams:
Please share any Winter Solstice songs that you like — I’d love to find more!