I want to do something to commemorate the Winter Solstice this Sunday. I don’t necessarily feel the need to dance naked around an oak tree under a full moon, but I have thought for several years in a row now that it would be nice to acknowledge the day in some way.
It’s not an inconsequential day. To those who were once far more connected to the land, this was a day of natural transition and time for celebration. It was the shortest day and longest night. From that moment on, the sun would stay longer and longer each day until it reached the summer solstice. Bonfires were built to welcome back the sun. A yule log was lit and kept burning for 12 days. Homes were decorated with holly, ivy and mistletoe to welcome the nature sprites in.
In what would appear to be a completely unrelated event, I was contemplating what to grow in our garden next year. I had decided earlier that each year we would try something new in order to slowly add to the list of things we can actually grow beyond the sprout stage without killing. My choice for this year is garlic. Although I felt I was jumping the gun, I decided to go ahead and Google garlic to see how it is cultivated. Turns out garlic is (duh) a bulb that is best planted late fall for harvesting the next summer.
In fact, “traditionally, garlic is planted on the Winter Soltice.” Yep, that’s what it said.