One of my favourite days in Glastonbury is Winter Solstice. It may seem a strange day to be celebrating. It is the shortest day in the calendar, it is usually cold and it is only the first day of winter. But it is the last short day. The days start to get longer from here and it won’t be long until Spring returns.
Winter Solstice is the date and time when the sun is at its furthest tilt from the Earth. It means we only get around 8 hours of sunlight on that day.
Winter Solstice is believed to be a pagan festival celebrating the re-birth of the light. In fact, the winter solstice was very important to all cultures. The seasons were monitored closely to survive. It was this time of year that the animals were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter, the wine and beer were ready for drinking and it would be the end of the fresh vegetable stocks. This was the last chance to feast on the first day of winter.
You will find me up on Glastonbury Tor celebrating with the crowds. I will walk up to watch the sunrise from the top. The winter sky over Glastonbury is breathtaking.