Friday, December 24, 2010

Winter Solstice - December 21, 2010

The last time I celebrated Winter Solstice was with my friend’s Susan and Dave Carels. They live in a small village on the outskirts of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Their parties have plenty of atmosphere. Very few places in the world can get colder or darker than the Canadian prairie.

To warm things up, Susan and Dave light an uncountable number of candles, burn logs in the fireplace, cook up large pots of speghetti and ffill their home with plenty of friends.

Prairie people are a hardy lot who by necessity appreciate the seasons. I miss Susan and Dave’s party. This years party, although festive, just didn’t have the same flare

We were about fifty strong. All foreigners from more northern climes. One of the revellers announced it was exactly winter solstice. It was 5:28 p.m. I suppose the sun had gone down, but hadn’t set, it was still light. In Oaxaca, the difference in the shortest day and the longest day of the year is not pronounced.

People who live in the tropics know the seasons in a different way. Sometimes it’s wet. Sometimes it’s dry. We are in the dry seaon now and haven’t seen rain in about three months.

We Winter Solstice revellers drank mulled wine, ate cookies, sang Christmas carols, pagan songs and wassailing tunes. A little bit of tradition in a wonderful yet foreign land.

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