Friday, 21 December 2018

December 21st and the Winter Solstice

According to my Country Wisdom and Folklore Diary at 22 minute past 10 tonight we should celebrate the Winter Solstice and the Official start of Winter.

Today is also St Thomas' Day.........

St Thomas grey, St Thomas grey
Longest night and shortest day 

The tradition of bringing greenery into the home goes back a Very long way. This would have been the only decoration available to the poorest homes.
And even earlier each plant had a meaning.........Holly was a symbol of everlasting life and fertility, Ivy was an anti-witching plant with medicinal values, Rosemary was holy and magical and Bay was sacred to Apollo and Aescutapious, the God of medicine. Mistletoe was also associated with fertility and used by Druids in their ceremonies.

Christmas wreaths made of greenery are also ancient, thought to date back to Roman times when they decorated homes during Saturnalia. The wreath is thought to be a symbol of the wheel of the year. (The word Yule is usually thought to come from the Nordic word jol but may come from their word for wheel.......houl).

There should be pictures of holly, ivy and other green things here but I was so busy yesterday that I didn't get round to bringing anything in. I'm working my way through a list of food preparation so I can spend more time with Grandson Jacob when he arrives with his Mum and Dad on Sunday afternoon and before then I have coffee at a friends, a carol service and a dinner out, a shopping trip, bread sauce to make, spiced nuts to do for the hampers, deliver the hampers, more red cabbage casserole to make and cook. Some small presents for neighbours children to wrap, wood and kindling to bring in and maybe I'd better do some cleaning!

So instead of a photo of green things brought in for the Winter Solstice here's a page from the book "Cattern Cakes and Lace"

Back Tomorrow


  1. Its OK I haven't brought in any greenery either - time and life has got in the way!

    Julie xxxxxx

  2. I like fresh greenery indoors...but another one with none here!

  3. I have some holly and will get it in on Monday so it's nice and fresh! xx

  4. You are certainly keeping occupied! No greenery in but could gather plenty if I remember.

  5. Lovely post - I gathered greenery yesterday, to make some wreaths. The only thing I couldn't find in the garden was Mistletoe.
    You are a whirl of festive activity, enjoy all the fun things.

  6. No greenery here yet, either... it's been pouring rain...!

  7. It seems that most of us are not quite up to adding greenery this year. We've had almost 70" (1,778 mm) of rain this year--so far (and it is raining again today), so I can't quite summon any interest in slogging through the wet. Have a good time with Jacob and family.

  8. No greenery brought in here either .... well unless you count the sprigs of Rosemary I've just snipped from the tin bath and added to the veggies I'm cooking :-)

  9. I've got a wreath on the front door and some greenery in a basket. Today's my 33rd wedding anniversary. Amazing how we've made it this long.
    Enjoy your grandbaby!

  10. Great post! Love these ones.