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First Day of Winter 2020 Traditions and Folklore: 7 Superstitions About the Winter Solstice You May Not Have Known!

Are you ready for the first day of winter? While you must be warming yourself bracing the chilled weather, astronomically, winter in the northern hemisphere begins with Winter Solstice, which will be marked on December 21. There are many celestial events that would happen on the winter solstice day and first weeks of winter. A rare great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn is set to take place on the winter solstice. Whether you are a night own or an early bird, December 21 is a day to be reckoned with. One of the most important events in the solar cycle, the winter solstice is associated with different traditions and folklore. Did you know some believe that dark spirits walk the earth during the winter solstice? In this article, we will take a look at superstitions associated with the winter solstice you may not have known.

Winter solstice has various culture, traditions and folklore and many festivals are held to mark the event. While we are all excited about the first day of winter, there are these creepy superstitions associated with the solstice that many of us would have known.

1. Winter solstice marks the day when the Sun hits its southernmost point of the year before beginning its ascent north again, but it sort of stand still on the day—at least to the naked eye. We have scientific explanations today, but ancient people tend to believe that the Sun really would not move. In fact, the word ‘solstice’ comes from the Latin term, ‘solstitium’ which means ‘The Sun Stands Still.’

2. Mental Floss, in its article noted that cultures throughout history have observed the winter solstice as a celebration of death and marked it with ceremonial fires.

3. There is so much mystery around Stonehenge’s history. There are a lot of theories about where this stone monument in England came from and why, but some experts believe that the design appears to correspond to the winter and summer solstice. When the Sun sets on the solstice, it shines directly through the gaps in the rocks.

4. Iranian festival, Shab-e Yalda that celebrates the birth of ancient sun god who triumphed over darkness is observed on the longest night of the year—the winter solstice. Because of the light vs dark symbolism, ancient lore holds that evil spirits wander the earth on this night stronger than ever. Similar superstitions are found in Celtic and Germanic folklore too.

5. Remember the 2012 end of the world predictions by Mayan calendar? It suggested that December 21, 2012, was the end of a 5126-year cycle—end of the life, or the start of other disastrous events. While theories in recent years have ridiculed the doomsday prediction, the horror during the 2012 winter solstice can never be forgotten.

6. Because there is no actual date associated with Jesus’ birth in the Bible, there are theories that suggest that early pagans celebrated Christmas on the winter solstice.

7. There have been many discoveries on the winter solstice. The day is considered extremely significant. The discovery of radium, the pilgrim’s arrival at Plymouth Rock, and the launch of Apollo 8—all occurred on December 21.

These are some superstitions and other events associated with the winter solstice. Remember, the days just get longer from here! Enjoy the first day of winter and hope for better days ahead.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 20, 2020 05:55 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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