Winter Solstice (sol = sun + sistere= stand still) in the Northern Hemisphere, the longest night of the year, is a marvelous night for a moondance.
"Celebrate we will, for life is short but sweet for certain," urged singer Dave Matthews.
In ancient Persia, the winter solstice was a time of great celebration-- to light candles and honor the god of light, Mithra. The Vikings lit huge bonfires and celebrated yuletide to honor their god Thor. Everyone was encouraged to end quarrels and perform good deeds.
In old Europe, the time was known as Yule, from the Norse, hweol, meaning wheel. Norsemen thought the sun was a wheel of fire rolling toward and away from earth as the seasons changed.
Revelers circled around the traditional Yule log, the sacred fire that burned throughout the night as a welcoming beacon to greet the returning sun. The more singing and dancing, the greater the chances of awakening the sun from its long winter sleep, hurrying spring on its way.
Victor Hugo once said, "Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."
So, have fun: The Solstice reaffirms life and celebrates the spirit of joy and goodwill. It's a time to show appreciation to the people who matter in your life... and a time to hope.