“Joie to you on this Longest Night!” –A Seasonal Greeting from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart
Today is the Winter Solstice, an astronomical event that inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of religious observations. Yes, including Christmas. As a follower of Nature, a pagan, this is a holiday for me. My home is awash in bright white lights, candles, and decked with decorated trees and garlands and pretty much anything that sparkles. I find this time of the year to be beautiful beyond words and I’m always moved by the brilliantly illuminated displays people create for these long, dark days. I’m a night owl, hell I was born at night, so this time of the year is perfect for me and the Longest Night is definitely my favorite day of the year. Besides my birthday, that is, which is on Twelfth Night.
The quote above is from my absolutely favorite fantasy series, written by the amazingly talented Jacqueline Carey. The night of the Winter Solstice is an important holiday in the exciting and erotic alternate Earth Ms. Carey created and the traditional greeting spoken by the people of Terre d’Ange has become my preferred greeting for the Solstice.
But my religious views are syncretic and I still celebrate Christmas and my favorite music for that “newer” way of celebrating the Winter Solstice is still very heavily influenced by the Presbyterian (with very strong Roman Catholic elements via family & friends & schooling) upbringing of my youth, such as Veni, Veni Emmanuel, Gaudete, Fum, Fum, Fum, and the Coventry Carol:
Then there’s Festivus, the awesomeness of which should never be underestimated!
What ever way you celebrate this time of the year, please have a Happy and Safe Holiday season. My Alphabet Soup series will resume after the New Year.