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Winter Solstice

stoness.jpgToday's the shortest day of the year in the northern hemishere, which in Helsinki means the sun rises for less than six hours and doesn't rise at all in the north of Finland. With midsummer being such a big celebration in Scandinavia I'd been wondering why no-one seems to celebrate mid-winter until I was reminded that the Christian church superimposed Christmas over that pagan festival.

The chambered cairn of Maeshowe in Orkney fascinated me since I read about it at school. Built almost 5,000 years ago, it's entrance passage is carefully aligned so the last rays of setting sun on the winter solstice shine directly down, strike a wall, and illuminate it's interior, showing just how important this day used to be. It's a shame we've lost track of celebrating this fundamental, seasonal event, and I think that building wicker men and sacrificing virgins would be much more fun than doing Christmas shopping and fighting our way around supermarkets.


Thanks bron for putting up that photo of midsummers day around the Merrystones at Merryfield Manor.
It brings back such happy memories of warmer times ;)




yes, you look particularly good standing in the white dress towards the back of the picture CD!

Be careful of what you say in case Aragina sees it.
BTW - Did you know that the ever fragrant Cd ran that dress up himself?

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