Saturday, December 21, 2013

Festivals of the Light

Winter Solstice is an Astronomical phenomenon. 
It is the day when the number of hours of daylight is at its annual minimum; 
almost 7 hours in Denmark. 
Although the days become longer and longer, lighter and lighter, 
the temperature still drops until the 2nd of February 
when the temperature starts to rise again.

Winter Solstice is also a winter festival: The return of the light.
 A day of joy, because it is the symbol of light return in our lives. 
The day is celebrated with joy at homes, cafes, restaurants and pubs, 
with candles or open fires. 

Although Winter Solstice is a tied to the solar (sun) cycle, and the Jewish festival of Hanukkah (Festival of Light) is tied to the lunar (moon) cycle, some similarities are obvious: the time (month) of the festivals and the names of the festivals. The same is true for the Afrikaans’ Kersfees during which the birth of the “Light of the World” is celebrated.

The sun is supposed to be 10.5 degrees above the horizon at noon, 
but today it was nowhere to be seen.