Winter solstice, when the sun pauses at the lowest point in its annual journey, occurs on Dec. 21. In many traditions that day is called “midwinter.’’
Celebrations will cover different aspects of those events — natural, cultural, and astronomical. The celebrations start at 3 p.m. 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 will be hosted by the Okanagan Centre of the RASC, will begin at 4 p.m.
A program will follow at 4:30 p.m. 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 important for virtually all of humanity, as evidenced by the variety of cultures to hold major celebrations on that day.
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.
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 at 250-770-7668 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.