Bismillah Ir Rahman Ir Raheem
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
The Winter Solstice, which occurs around December 21st or 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere and around June 20th or 21st in the Southern Hemisphere, is a time of great significance for many cultures and traditions around the world. It marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, and is seen as a time of rebirth, renewal, and reflection. In many indigenous traditions, the winter solstice has long been celebrated with a variety of ceremonies with community that honor the natural world and the cycle of the seasons.
We were honored to be invited to Little Red Sands farm to celebrate the feast of Panketzaliztli (Raising of the Banners) to celebrate the winter solstice according to their indigenous traditions of Tigua / Mexika & Peru. They honor the birth of the new Sun as Witzilopochtli (Hummingbird on the Left). We celebrated together with prayer, drums, reflection as a group, fire & a sacred chant that would bring us to live as our higher self.
The winter solstice is also a time for personal reflection and spiritual growth. It is a time to reflect on the past year, to set intentions for the future, and to connect with the natural world and the spirit world. The winter solstice is also a time for sharing food and stories with friends and family. Many cultures have a strong tradition of oral storytelling, and the winter solstice is a time when these stories. Sharing food is also an important way to celebrate the winter solstice, as it is a time when the natural world is at its most barren and resources are scarce.
We brought foods that we grew & saved for this day to share. We feasted with blue corn tamales, mole, chocolate dates, roasted squash, golden tea & so many more tasty nourishing things that our bodies needed. In many cultures, it is believed that sharing food is a way of showing respect and gratitude to the natural world, and that it helps to bring balance and harmony to the community.
Witzilopochtli (Hummingbird on the Left) is often associated with the winter solstice as a symbol of hope, joy, and the ability to adapt to change. During these early days of the winter solstice the sun is in the same position of the sky hovering for 3 days just like the hummingbird does when she flies. We also learned together that the hummingbird is the only pollinator during winter.
We were honored for our children to race for the prize of the amaranth treat made with popped amaranth from Little Red Sands formed with agave & honey. It felt so special to be with commUnity & learn as a family how we can honor this time together.
Here are ten things that anyone can do to honor the winter solstice on their own while following indigenous traditions shared around the world:
1 Engage in self-reflection and introspection: This is a time of reflection, and it can be helpful to take some time to think about the past year and what you have learned about yourself.
2 Spend time in nature: It is healing to be in the natural world, and spending time outdoors can be a great way to connect with God through seeing the beauty of creation.
3 Practice gratitude: This is a time to appreciate the abundance and blessings in your life.
4 Engage in physical activity: Many traditions place a strong emphasis on the importance of physical health and wellness. Engaging in physical activity, such as walking, running, or dancing, can be a great way to honor the winter solstice and care for your body.
5 Eat nourishing, seasonal foods: Incorporating nourishing, seasonal foods into your diet is a great way to honor the winter solstice and care for your body. Consider incorporating foods like root vegetables, nuts, and grains into your meals.
6 Get plenty of sleep: The winter solstice is a time to rest and recharge, and getting plenty of sleep can be a great way to honor this time of year and care for your body.
7 Engage in creative activities: Many Native American traditions place a strong emphasis on the importance of creativity & engaging in creative activities, such as drawing, painting, or crafting, can be a great way to honor the winter solstice and nourish your soul.
8 Take time for self-care: The winter solstice is a time to focus on self-care and nourishment. Consider taking a warm bath, going for a massage, or engaging in a relaxing activity that brings you joy.
9 Connect with others: The importance of community and connection should be prioritized. Consider spending time with loved ones or joining in winter solstice celebrations to honor this time of year.
10 Practice mindfulness: The winter solstice is a time of stillness and contemplation. Practicing mindfulness, such as through meditation or yoga, can be a great way to honor this time of year and connect with your body and mind.