happy solstice and new year!

117.21 Southlight 0 EE (Earth Epic Calendar)
Soundtrack in my head: Peter, Paul & Mary, “A Soalin'”

Stonehenge Monument Ancient England  - TheDigitalArtist / Pixabay
TheDigitalArtist / Pixabay

Happy solstice everyone! The Southern Solstice is a hemisphere-neutral term that describes the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. (Also known as Yule and Litha respectively in many traditions, as well as by other names.. It is referred to as the Southern Solstice because the most direct sunlight is shining over the southernmost latitude on the Earth that it travels—in this case, the Tropic of Capricorn. And a Solstice New Year can be a powerful combination of energies.

On the Earth Epic Calendar that I created, this is the first day of the new year, 11.721. That measures 11 millennia and 721 years since the beginning of the Holocene. (The Holocene’s beginning was set by the International Commission on Statigraphy. They estimated the start of the Epoch at 9701 BCE plus or minus 99 years.)

A Solstice New Year

It has always seemed natural to start the New Year on a moment like the winter solstice. First of all, it’s more accurate when the New Year is fixed by astronomical observation rather than a math formula. Another calendar that has their new year determined this way is the Solar Hijri Calendar.–their new year starts on the Northward Equinox (March). The question of whether a year has 365 or 366 days is determined simply by the number of days between the Southern Solstice or Northward Equinox. 117.21, in fact, is a “leap year” because there are 366 days between this Southern Solstice and the next one.

The Southern Solstice is also the shortest day and longest night in the Northern Hemisphere. After today, the days get longer and the nights shorter. (These things are reversed for the Southern Hemisphere).

This time of year is a time when much of the world is already being reflective. A number of religions have holidays in this time of year. Tying the New Year even more closely with the Earth’s cycles makes it even more special for me as a Pagan.

However you celebrate your holidays, may it be a happy one. Blessed be!

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