Now that we've all officially let go of fall and committed to our heaviest coats, it's time to look forward to the winter solstice. While the astronomical event has held different meanings for different people and groups throughout history, there are plenty of both modern and traditional ways to celebrate that are totally non-religious and just focus on the celestial event at hand. And what better way to choose your celebration than find the winter solstice celebration best suited for your zodiac sign? It doesn't get more personal than that.
But first, a quick brush up on what you're actually celebrating. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and the longest night of the year. It occurs when the Sun is perfectly aligned with the Tropic of Capricorn. We recognize the winter solstice on Dec. 21 each year, though technically, it might occur astronomically anywhere from Dec. 20 to Dec. 23. Because the sun is the lowest in the sky it will ever be for the year, your shadow is the longest it will ever be for the year — a fun fact you can best check out around 11:28 a.m. EST on Dec. 21, which will be the peak time to observe. The term "solstice" comes from the Latin word "solstitium" which translates to "the Sun stands still." The reason for that is because the Sun is making its lowest arc in the sky, it creates the illusion that it's rising and setting from the exact same location — hence the concept of standing still.
While there are many reasons why people celebrate the winter solstice, one of the most exciting reasons to celebrate, especially for those of you who were already over winter before it began, is that each day after the winter solstice will be longer and brighter, all the way towards the summer solstice, which occurs on Jun. 21, at which point will be the longest day of the year. Now that you're informed and ready to celebrate the return of the sun, here's how to celebrate using your astrological sign as a guide.
A classic winter solstice celebration includes the making of orange pomanders. You can use them as Christmas tree decorations, or leave them around your home during the winter for a majorly festive fragrance. Get some friends together and learn how to make the pomanders in the spirit of the solstice.
To celebrate pine frees, the low-key mascot of the winter solstice, collect some sprigs and small branches and craft your own wreath. Or make a few, and gift them to friends and family.
Oh Gemini, you love this celebration more than more because it's a lot like you, the juxtaposition of light and dark. To celebrate, throw a "goodbye darkness, hello lightness" theme party. Light a ton of candles, have everyone dress in black or white and get fully into the theme, however it inspires you. It's a great way to dress up your holiday party.
Your sensitivity is totally peaked this time of year. You'll probably feel like staying home and away from all of the festivities for the night, so follow your gut and do it. Curl up to some solstice literature and let the celebration inspire you in your own way.
All that glitters is gold, to you, Leo. Celebrate the return of the sun by making sparkly sun ornaments. You can decorate your home with them, or gift them to friends and family this holiday season. The more glitter the better.
Find a tree outside that looks like it needs a little love, and decorate it. It's totally unlike you to worry about how things look that aren't in your home, but this time of you has you feeling a bit more open-minded. So dress up a tree for the community, it will make you feel good to spread that cheer.
Take this night to reflect on all of the things that are no longer serving you and try to let them go. The spirituality of the solstice will help you to really focus and organize your emotions this time of year.
Admit it, you love any excuse to stay up late and have some variety in your week. To celebrate the longest night of the year, challenge yourself to stay up all night and watch the sun rise. Use this time to do some serious reflecting on what you want to achieve in the next year.
You love to explore, so head out on the night of the winter solstice and pack your lungs with the cold winter air. You'll find yourself feeling a lot of gratitude for your ability to adventure, as it will always be a part of you.
Any excuse for some organized change is good enough for you. You've been meaning to winterize your home and this is the perfect opportunity. Neaten things up, find a way to achieve a minimalist cozy vibe.
Have yourself a full-on ritual night. Light candles, set intentions for the next season, write them down and read them out loud to the moon and give yourself a night of relaxing self care.
Invite all of your friends over for a potluck dinner. Use only candle light and have all of your guests go around the table and say one hope they'd like to achieve before the summer solstice.