Thursday, 22 December 2011

This time of year...

Christmas, winterval, yule, Hanuka, Saturnalia, whatever.

We should all be celebrating today. For today is the Solstice. The longest night and the beginning of winter, The days will get longer from now until the Summer solstice in June. All the festivals we celebrate around this time are lunarised bastardisations of our much more ancient solar festivals.

I'm not some neo-pagan, dressing up like a character from Lord of the Rings to perform some farcical ceremony at Stonehenge. But these festivals are based in something real, the seasons, which give a natural rhythm to our lives, and have always done. The light has shone through that same gap, at the same point every year for about 4,500 years. This natural rhythm, combined with a human need to mark the passage of time, is why Atheists celebrate Christmas: you don't need a God to tell you to celebrate the return of the sun.



3 comments:

Tim Newman said...

But these festivals are based in something real, the seasons, which give a natural rhythm to our lives, and have always done.

Unless you live in Siberia or Kazakhstan in which case you have just two seasons: winter and August.

Single acts of tyranny said...

As I may not be looking at too many blogs over the festive period, may I take this opportunity to say thank you for an excellent body of thought over this past year, I greatly enjoy reading AVBD

It is amongst perhaps two dozen that I look at more or less daily, so thank you and Merry Christmas

statusviatoris said...

Hear hear! Well said! and all the rest... Let us fight to reclaim this period of lights, seasonal celebration, feasting and merrymaking that was so cynically hijacked by a controlling religious dictatorship.

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