Winter Solstice in different cultural traditions

winter solstice - a period when the northern hemisphere there is the longest night.In some parts of Russia the duration of the day in the night can be reduced to approximately 3.5 hours.

since the autumnal equinox the length of daylight decreases with each passing day.This is up until 21 December.Solstice represents the peak of the reign of the "forces of darkness".From the next day, the heavenly body is daily rise higher above the horizon until the onset of the spring equinox.

BC this phenomenon accounted for 25 December.It is noteworthy that this date is the birthday of the many mythical heroes in various traditions.The winter solstice - a day, after which the "intensity" regain power over the world.

Interestingly, beliefs, traditions and symbols of many people associated with this natural phenomenon.A little bit about it.

Celtic cross, for example, reflects the natural cycle of movement of the reference points Solntsa.Odnoy it stands winter solstice

Legends of ancient Babylon say that on thi

s day God Nimrod left the sacred gifts under the evergreen tree.

ancient Chinese attributed the increase in the light of the day with the rise of "male power" of nature.The winter solstice symbolized the beginning of a new cycle, so these days were considered sacred.On this day, the Chinese have not worked: retail shops were closed, people gave each other gifts.On the festive table, according to tradition, it should be porridge, made from glutinous rice and beans.It was thought that these dishes ward off evil spirits and disease.

In Taiwan the day Dunchzhitsze (name of the holiday) conducted a ritual "sacrifice": the ancestors portrayed the cake, which has 9 layers.On this day, the island decided to mold the rice cake figurines of sacred animals and feasts.

Indian name of the holiday - Sankranti.The onset of the holy day of kindling fires note that symbolize the way the sun's heat to warm the frozen ground during the winter.

Slavs, too, watched the changes of nature and symbolizes the natural cycles in their beliefs.On the day of the solstice in Russia celebrated the New Year.Tradition dictates our "ancestors" in this day kindle the fire, welcoming the "forces of light", and bake the loaf.Honoring Kolyada deity symbolized the beginning of the next cycle.

the XVI century in Russia there was a ceremony during which the chief bell ringer had to come to the king and tell him that "the sun had turned the summer."As an incentive, the head of state has given "messenger" financial reward.

Scots that day rolled down the street a barrel, which had previously been plastered burning pitch.The rotation of the burning structure made like a heavenly body, which was held in honor of the ritual.

Deity peoples of the world have different names, but in all corners of the globe symbolizes the renewal of the winter solstice, the beginning of a new cycle.The very nature of this day tells rejoice the return of "the forces of light."