The Winter Solstice & Mistletoe

The winter solstice, falling on December 21, 2018, will mark the shortest day of the year as well as a full moon in the night sky. The 2018 winter solstice will be accompanied by what NASA notes as the Cold Moon or the Long Night Moon. The names originate from the Native Americans, who marked December's full Moon as the beginning of the coldest part of the year. Also, the Long Night Moon is named after the longest night of the year on the winter solstice.

The celebration of the winter solstice has its roots in many cultures worldwide, particularly the Celtic tradition, where druids – wise women and men – would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and offer it as a blessing each year.

According to an old Celtic myth, on the solstices of each year the Oak King, representing the light, and the Holly King, representing the dark, would fight, with the Oak King emerging victorious at the winter solstice, enabling the return of the light.

The winter solstice tradition dates back to before the Celts, however, as evidenced by the underground cairn in Newgrange, Co Meath, constructed in 3300BC, which is illuminated by the sun at dawn on December 21st.

May the sun ignite more love, peace and joy in our hearts to give to the world.