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What Does the Winter Solstice Mean to Us?

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For some reason this time of year is very important to civilization.  Pagans used to celebrate this time of year with drunkenness and debauchery.  Christians celebrate Christ's birth.  The Mayan calendar ends on that date in 2012.  The Fatima prophesies predict the "end of the world" on a winter solstice.  Ancient civilizations spent much time pre-occupied with the eqinoxes and solstices and astronomy in general.
 
This time of year is heralded as a joyous time of the year and yet many, if not most of us, find ourselves depressed, emotional, yearning to reach out to our loved ones or those in need or anyone else for that matter.  Tears and emotion flow more freely now than at any other time of the year.  Camaraderie is at its strongest point of the year (notice it on LP).  Preparation is also a key element in our lives at this time.  It is also statistically the time period when more alcohol is consumed than at any other time of the year. 

Note that we celebrate New Year's Eve with drunkenness and debauchery but our focus is mostly on toasting the past, not celebrating the future.  The very words of Auld Lang Syne, the kissing of our loved ones and the intense emotions accompanying the moment are signifying more of a "goodbye" than a "hello".

Do humans have an innate knowledge of when something will happen to them as a race?  Or has Rick G. had too many eggnogs?

Meanwhile as we ponder this conundrum, Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to all of my LP friends!

Smiley Santa

Entry #86

Comments

1.
JAP69Comment by JAP69 - December 23, 2006, 4:45 pm
It's the shortest day of the year. We get less solar warming.
2.
Rick GComment by Rick G - December 23, 2006, 5:03 pm
John,

That's a pragmatic response and inarguably a good explanation. But I don't think a shorter day and less warmth from the sun is the only answer. Just my opinion. I think it has more to do with the cycle of the earth's wobble on its axis and ensuing correction. It would make sense that this event would occur on an equinox or solstice.

Maybe I's computer could shed some light on that.   ;)
3.
justxploringComment by justxploring - December 24, 2006, 3:04 am
"Do humans have an innate knowledge of when something will happen to them as a race? Or has Rick G. had too many eggnogs?"

I'll vote for the eggnogs! Happy Holidays to you.
4.
Comment by LOTTOMIKE - December 24, 2006, 7:13 am
i wonder about the 2012 thing a lot.i looked it up this past weekend.seems that something major should happen somewhere in that time period.i believe in those type of things.really makes you wonder.especially with all thats happened since 9/11.before 9/11 i really didn't believe.post 9/11 i definitely do.too much has happened.
5.
JAP69Comment by JAP69 - December 24, 2006, 8:36 am
some reading here on biological clock.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_clock.

As far as 2012 goes I do not worry about it.
6.
Rick GComment by Rick G - December 24, 2006, 10:27 am
John, thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

Mike, I just find it curious that the Mayan calendar ends at that time. I think it has to do with the precession of the equinoxes which happens every 25,800 years. That would be the end of a great cycle and an explanation for the calendar to stop at that time.

Nancy, I think you were right about the eggnogs. ;)
7.
cps10Comment by cps10 - December 24, 2006, 10:39 am
Rick - I know I had way too many eggnogs last night...thank you for reminding me of that past memory ;)
8.
truecriticComment by truecritic - December 24, 2006, 12:51 pm
Adding what I feel, rationally. I don't believe that past civilizations were smarter than all our scientists, computers and current civilizations. I don't believe predictions from the Bible or otherwise. For all intents and purposes they were too vague to be called predictions. Yes, many...even many, many, general, vague predictions have come true. People envisioned flying and we have planes. People envisioned visits to space and we are. But those "predictions" did not have anything detailed laid out. Almost any school children can come up with those types of ideas. Those are not what I consider real predictions.

Then there is the issue of the vast number of so-called predictions. Good grief! At least one of them has to come true because there are so many.

As to a direct answer to the question, Winter Solstice means starting the day after, longer days and summer will be coming. 2 of my favorites.

ps - I don't drink eggnog.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

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