Midwinter and the Winter Solstice: Dec 21st
Winter solstice, when the Sun pauses at the lowest point in its annual journey, occurs on December 21. In many traditions that day is called “midwinter’’. Celebrations are being planned to cover different aspects of those events — natural, cultural, and astronomical.
The celebrations start at 3:00 pm on Munson Mountain to watch the Sun set at its most southerly point. There among the standing stones of the Pen Henge array, which line up with the sunset point on that day, members of the Okanagan Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will observe the event with various instruments, and have a small ceremony. You are invited to come and take part. A subsequent gathering at the Shatford Centre which includes warming drinks and nibblies, hosted by the Okanagan Centre of the RASC, will begin at 4:00 .
A program will follow this at 4:30 which will emphasize the multicultural aspect of solstice. In ancient times the solstice event — having the descent into darkness and shorter days halted with a promised return of the light — was very important for virtually all of humanity, as evidenced by the wide variety of different cultures to hold major celebrations on that day, festivals which have continued right through to present times. The program will include a short talk, with displays, about many of the cultures and how they celebrate solstice, as well as examples by modern practitioners in our own community, Persians and Chinese for example, who will describe their particular customs and traditions. If your tradition includes a solstice observance, or a celebration with its roots in a solstice observance, and you would like to contribute to this program with some comments and/or a display of some kind, contact the Shatford Centre . . . details below. Comments and displays about the astronomical aspects, and of nature’s reaction to midwinter, will also be part of the proceedings.The program will be followed by food prepared in the newly inaugurated Rotary Community Learning Kitchen, with hearty local foods with worldly flavours. By donation. This is a free public event, and you, your family and friends are invited to join in.
If interested please RSVP to the Shatford Centre at 250-770-7668 or e-mail info(at)shatfordcentre.com <http://shatfordcentre.com/> . Although not critical, it does help us to estimate how many will be attending.
Shatford Centre-Okanagan School of the Arts~760
Main Street Penticton, B.C., V2A 5E2
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