I am interviewed for #SunStoppedShining Blog Tour

I am featured on Johanna K Pitcairn’s “The Manicheans” Blog

Click the above  to find out what we talk about.

 

 

My December Solstice on this #Creepfest I bleed ink and walk with Christmas Spirits

Today I am honoured to be hosted by two #Creepfest Authors in honour of December Solstice…

Find out why I bleed ink … all over Jessica McHugh’s “No Vacation from Speculation”

Find my Ode to December Solstice and the Ghosts of Christmas’s Past … with Ruth Barrett’s “Spirited Words”

I thought I would share a little insight on December Solstice or Night of the Midnight Sun in honour of both the event and #Creepfest…

December Solstice usually occurs between 20/12 and 23/12 every year. This year it falls on the 22nd. This solstice celebrates the return of light and the continuing circle of seasons and life. Here are some ways that cultures around the world have celebrated the Solstice…

  • Yule is also known as Alban Arthan and was one of the “Lesser Sabbats” of the Wiccan year in a time when ancient believers celebrated the rebirth of the Sun God and days with more light. This took place annually around the time of the December solstice and lasted for 12 days.
  • Yule: The Feast of Juul was a pre-Christian festival observed in Scandinavia at the time of the December solstice. Fires were lit to symbolize the heat, light and life-giving properties of the returning sun. A Yule or Juul log was brought in and burned on the hearth in honor of the Scandinavian god Thor. A piece of the log was kept as both a token of good luck and as kindling for the following year’s log.
  • In England, Germany, France and other European countries, the Yule log was burned until nothing but ash remained. The ashes were then collected and either strewn on the fields as fertilizer every night until Twelfth Night or kept as a charm and or as medicine.
  • In Ancient Rome the winter (December) solstice festival Saturnalia began on December 17 and lasted for seven days. It was held to honor Saturn, the father of the gods and was characterized by the suspension of discipline and reversal of the usual order. Grudges and quarrels were forgotten while businesses, courts and schools were closed. Wars were interrupted or postponed and slaves were served by their masters. Masquerades often occurred during this time. It was traditional to offer gifts of imitation fruit (a symbol of fertility), dolls (symbolic of the custom of human sacrifice), and candles (reminiscent of the bonfires traditionally associated with pagan solstice celebrations). A mock king was chosen, usually from a group of slaves or criminals, and although he was permitted to behave in an unrestrained manner for seven days of the festival, he was usually killed at the end. The Saturnalia eventually degenerated into a week-long spree of debauchery and crime – giving rise to the modern use of the tern saturnalia, meaning a period of unrestrained license and revelry. 
  • In Poland the ancient December solstice observance prior to Christianity involved people showing forgiveness and sharing food. It was a tradition that can still be seen in what is known as Gody.
  • In the northwestern corner of Pakistan, a festival called Chaomos, takes place among the Kalasha or Kalash Kafir people. It lasts for at least seven days, including the day of the December solstice. It involves ritual baths as part of a purification process, as well as singing and chanting, a torchlight procession, dancing, bonfires and festive eating.
  • Many Christians celebrate St Thomas’ Day in honor of St Thomas the Apostle on December 21.
  • In Guatemala on this day, Mayan Indians honor the sun god they worshipped long before they became Christians with a dangerous ritual known as the polo voladore, or “flying pole dance”. Three men climb on top of a 50-foot pole. As one of them beats a drum and plays a flute, the other two men wind a rope attached to the pole around one foot and jump. If they land on their feet, it is believed that the sun god will be pleased and that the days will start getting longer.
  • The ancient Incas celebrated a special festival to honor the sun god at the time of the December solstice. In the 16th century ceremonies were banned by the Roman Catholics in their bid to convert the Inca people to Christianity. A local group of Quecia Indians in Cusco, Peru, revived the festival in the 1950s. It is now a major festival that begins in Cusco and proceeds to an ancient amphitheater a few miles away.
  • Aside – One of my favourite books deals with the legends of the Solstice as well as other ancient stories that permeate early European cultures…          
  •   Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth

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Related articles on the Solstice

Full Time Writing, Charity & Dystopia | Where I am interviewed

Today I took the interview chair with Dicey’s Blog…

We talked about full time writing, how being a writer can mean giving back or reaching out and the what’s and why’s of loving dystopian fiction.

You can read the full interview here.

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Thanks Dicey! It was fun visiting with you on your blog.

Dicey is one of the authors/bloggers that I am co-hopping with in the exciting

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