6 Ways to Celebrate the Winter Solstice
Season’s Greetings! The winter solstice is coming on December 21, officially ushering in the socially distanced winter of 2020 and 2021. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year — in the sense that the sun isn’t out for as long as the other 364 days.
After December 21st, the days gradually get longer again until the summer solstice in June when the skies are blue until well after 8 PM. Scientifically, the winter solstice (at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere) is when the earth’s northern hemisphere is the most tilted away from the sun during that year.
These solstice events have been celebrated by various cultures since ancient times, long before we knew their scientific explanations. Since people thousands of years ago didn’t have the modern convenience of opening a laptop and searching “when is sunset this month”, they built monuments to mark the seasons such as (possibly) Stonehenge and Machu Picchu. Parties such as Saturnalia in ancient Rome were thrown to celebrate the final days of plentiful food before months of famine set in, since the following weather conditions were often detrimental to the agriculture of the times.
You don’t have to build another Machu Picchu or throw a Saturnalia-themed party to ring in this winter. There are plenty of ways to start winter off right that are more budget-friendly and cozier than that! Here are 6 of our favorite ways to celebrate the start of winter:
1. Holiday arts and crafts.
Holiday decor has more of a special touch when it’s handmade. Many craft stores have bells, ribbons, glitter, gemstones, and faux greenery and flowers to assemble something that’ll add a touch of seasonal cheer. Here’s a list of winter arts and crafts that range from embellished candy canes to snow globes to snow-free snowmen.
2. Bake holiday-themed sweet treats.
Even if you won’t be celebrating the holidays in a bustling room full of your friends and family this year, you can still drop off your snowman-embellished cookies at their doorstep. Here are some winter-themed desserts including snowball cookies and multiple ways to style peppermint bark.
3. Gather a group and tell some winter folktales.
Instead of telling ghost stories by a campfire or video group chat, tell winter folktales instead. Aside from Nativity and Rudolph, cultures from all over the world have their own unique folktales around different aspects of winter, such as their own theories of why winter solstices occurred. Some cultures have their own versions of Santa Claus or even an anti-Santa. Warning: some of these tales and mythological figures are pretty yikes-inducing!
4. Go on a sunrise hike.
Back in the Incan Empire, a sun festival called Inti Raymi was held during the winter solstice. People would travel to a ceremonial plaza before dawn and party with plenty of food and drinks. You don’t need to go to a ceremonial plaza, but you can wake up before dawn and go outside for a hike when there’s a sufficient amount of light.
5. Bathe in yuzu.
A traditional winter solstice practice in Japan is to bathe with a citrus fruit called a yuzu. This tradition was thought to bring good fortune in the coming year. On a shorter-term scale, the scent of yuzu has been known to calm and revitalize the mind, making a yuzu bath a solid aromatherapy experience.
If you can’t find a yuzu around, try some other citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, which is known for its powerful skin benefits. Beauty companies have picked up on this and have made yuzu-infused body washes.
6. Wake up earlier than usual.
Have you been needing to shift your sleep schedule up during the day? The earlier you wake up, the more hours of sunlight you’ll get. Yes, the days will gradually get longer after the solstice, but it’ll take time.
An essential aspect to sleeping earlier than usual is an environment that makes it extremely easy to sleep, which should definitely include quality bedding. Check out our premium memory foam Lull Mattress for your best night’s sleep, guaranteed. Top it off with fluffy, comfortable pillows from Lull and you’ll be getting restful sleep in no time!
For a limited time, you can save $125 on any size bedding bundle! Plus, check out our Holiday Flash Sale and save $250 on any premium Lull Mattress, so you and your loved ones can experience the comfort and durability of our products. Check out Lull’s cozy, comfortable products and join our 37000+ satisfied reviewers in getting some excellent sleep for a revitalizing winter.