Celebrating With a Viking Toast

Stonehenge is perfectly aligned to the sunset on winter solstice, as is Newgrange in Ireland. From Saturnalia in ancient Rome, to Yalda night in Iran, to a party in Illinois, groups gather to celebrate the passing of the longest night.

Tomorrow is winter solstice, the day when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the sun. It is the day with the least sunlight and marks the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. For thousands of years, people have celebrated the solstice. 

Jacqui, a long-time friend, called my attention to the solstice by inviting me to her annual winter solstice party more than twenty-five years ago. In the midst of the busy-ness of the holiday season, her party was a time to slow down, breathe, and honor the earth, the seasons, and the essential elements while enjoying the company of friends and strangers. My friends thought it was a bit wu-wu but I loved it. Although I’ve moved away, Jacki’s parties are still going strong. 

Since I have no party to attend this year, I will make a Viking Toast which is also an ancient solstice tradition. Here are the elements: 

—Boast of something you are proud of from the past year

—Toast a person you’d like to honor

—Make a promise for the year ahead

I’m going to make these declarations tomorrow. Will you join me?

Affirmation: I honor the Earth by celebrating the Winter Solstice.

Coaching questions: What will you boast about, who will you toast, what promise will you make?  

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Photo by Jack B on Unsplash

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