The Pagan celebration of Winter Solstice (also known as Yule) is one of the oldest winter celebrations in the world.
The Winter Solstice falls on the shortest day of the year (21st December) and was celebrated in Britain long before the arrival of Christianity. The Druids (Celtic priests) would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months.
It was also the Druids who began the tradition of the yule log. The Celts thought that the sun stood still for twelve days in the middle of winter and during this time a log was lit to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits and bring luck for the coming year.
Many of these customs are still followed today. They have been incorporated into the Christian and secular celebrations of Christmas.
Stonehenge is an ancient pre-historic site. It has been a place of worship and celebration at the time of the Winter Solstice since time immemorial. Respect the Stones and each other!
Time to celebrate! It’s the shortest day of the year!
Stonehenge Winter Solstice Cards: Astrocal and Solstice Calendars
Stonehenge Winter Solstice Open Access Arrangements
Please visit the official English Heritage website for full details and respect the terms of entry.
Please respect the Stones and each other!