The Midwinter Solstice – Three days from sunset from around 21st December according to the calendar.
The Midwinter Solstice marks the longest night and the shortest day, and pre-dates organised religion. Because early humans saw the sun at its lowest point and the vegetation dead or dying, they feared that light and life would never return, So they lit great bonfires from yule logs and hung torches from trees to give strength to the sun. They also decorated homes with evergreens to persuade the bare trees to grow again after the winter.
The present Christmas festival is a glorious amalgamation of many ancient festivals that centred around the midwinter solstice, Norse, Celtic, Greek and Roman, as well as Christian celebrations. The common theme is that the sun itself, the sun God or Son of God is reborn at the darkest hour of the year and life begins again.
The feasting of Christmas, like the Harvest Festival, formed a magical gesture to ensure there would be food again in the spring and good harvests the following year, through eating abundantly at a time of dearth.
Midwinter rituals are potent for prosperity as well as abundance in many less material ways. The herbs and incenses of Midwinter include bay, cedar, holly, juniper, pine and rosemary.
For Midwinter Solstice candle colours use White, Scarlet, Brilliant Green and Gold.