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How to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, and falls on or around December 21. Celebrate the return of longer days with these tips.


  • Step 1: Have goat Serve goat meat. In classical Greece, the sacrificed goat represented the harvest god.
  • TIP: In even earlier times, a man was sacrificed on the winter solstice.
  • Step 2: Throw a party Throw a party. During the Roman Empire, the Saturnalian festival coincided with the winter solstice.
  • Step 3: Plant some trees Plant some elderberry and birch trees. The ancient Druids believed these trees grew at the entrance to the underworld, to which the sun god journeyed at the time of the solstice.
  • Step 4: Tell stories and eat pomegranates Tell stories and eat pomegranates. This is how the early Zoroastrians celebrated the solstice in Persia.
  • Step 5: Catch a rabbit Catch a rabbit. The Hopi Native American tribe celebrated the winter solstice with a 20-day ceremony that included rabbit hunts. Not into hunting? That's OK -- the solstice is a time for celebrating, so no matter what your tradition, don't forget to have fun!
  • FACT: The Northern Hemisphere's winter solstice occurs when the top half of the Earth tilts away from the Sun at the maximum angle of 23.5 degrees.

You Will Need

  • Goat
  • Party
  • Elderberry and birch trees
  • Pomegranates
  • Rabbit

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