22 December 2006

"The Shortest Day"

Ancient Origins: Solstice

A 2003 Kids' News Entry about the Winter Solstice

The BBC Talks About the Winter Solstice

And, of course, Susan Cooper's poem which is read annually at the Revels Christmas performance:
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!
(Meanwhile, our friends in South Africa, the southern tip of South America, Australia and New Zealand are celebrating exactly the opposite. Happy summer to you all!)

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