Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

The Solstice Is Almost Here December 19, 2017

Filed under: Newgrange,Solstice,Winter Solstice — Janet @ 6:10 pm

Hooray we’re almost at the turn and the days will eventually start to get longer.

image  winter solstice at Newgrange – a Megalithic Tomb in Ireland.


Getting Dark at 4 o’clock December 13, 2016

Filed under: Arctic Circle,Seasons,Seattle,Stonehenge,Winter Solstice — Janet @ 4:29 pm

December 11 – Here it is only 4 o’clock on an overcast wintry day and it’s getting dark.  I can hardly wait for the winter solstice.  The onset of dim light and then darkness seems to be getting earlier in the afternoon this year.  Or do I forget from year to year.

Official sunset times in Seattle seem to hover around 4:10 and 4:20 these days.  Combined with sunrise times that means about 8 hours of daylight.  Don’t feel gloomy – I just looked at one of my favorite blogs – Dances With Wool – the author lives in Northern Finland on the edge of the Arctic Circle where they have only 3 hours of daylight at this time of year.  Sunrise around 11 and sunset around 2.  By 5 o’clock one feels like it’s bedtime.  I don’t know if I could take that.  Seattle and Dublin are far enough north for me.


solstice-stonehenge  winter solstice sunrise at Stonehenge

photo credit: Wikipedia


The Solstice Approaches December 20, 2015

Filed under: Solstice,Winter Solstice — Janet @ 4:21 pm

The hours between sunrise and sunset are almost about to increase. Soon there will be more daylight.  We are poised.  I am ready.  The exact date and time of the 2015 solstice here in Seattle is December 21 at 20:48.   Only a few hours from now as I write this.   It always seems to me that we reach a plateau at this time of year and almost even go backwards, depending on the weather I suppose.  It is not until about mid-January that the days seem to significantly lengthen.


Below is my advent calendar. How about a calendar for the solstice?

any birds 009


Mist and Cloud at Newgrange December 23, 2009

Filed under: History,Ireland,Winter Solstice — Janet @ 8:34 am

The Winter Solstice is now “yesterday’s news”.  There was disappointment at Newgrange on the official day of the Solstice, the morning of the 21st.  According to the article by Eileen Battersby in the Irish Times, there was general disappointment as eager watchers gathered and there was no sighting of the rising sun.  It was just cold and damp and misty.  People gradually put away their cameras and just exchanged greetings and comments.  Nevertheless, behind all that cloud and mist the sun was rising and nature’s cycle continues, the end of winter has begun.  And you can note the progress of the path of the sun by checking the times of sunrise and sunset each day and note the gradual lengthening of the days, in the Northern Hemisphere that is.

  not Newgrange on Dec. 21 – just a December morning view from the upstairs window of our house – the angle of the sun is so much further south than on a morning in June


The Winter Solstice Is Approaching December 20, 2009

The Winter Solstice is drawing near.

  photo from this source.

This year, according to my source, the winter will officially occur in Dublin at 15:47 , 5:47 p.m., tomorrow December 21.  Correspondingly, it will be 9:47 a.m. on the west coast of America, 8 hours behind us here in Dublin.  There is a really interesting website showing photos and explaining the winter solstice at Newgrange, a world famous prehistoric site in Ireland.  Around the time of the winter solstice the rising sun shines into the inner chamber for 5 or 6 mornings.  Some of the photos shown of the 2005 solstice were taken by Anne-Marie Moroney, a weaving friend of mine.

Anne-Marie is also a photographer and author interested in archaeological and mystic phenomena.  Anne-Marie and a poet  friend, Susan Connelly, produced a book about some of the holy wells in Ireland.  She used not only her own photographs but also some of her textiles as illustrations.  I would like to tell you more, but that will have to wait for another day.  My copy of the book is currently in a container on the SS Rotterdam Express, approaching the Panama Canal, en route to Seattle.

I have a diary called Murakami Diary 2009.  Haruki Murakami is Japanese by birth and his books have been translated into many languages.  According to the Diary, the Winter Solstice in Japan is called Toji.  And looking up Toji I found the following:

Japan:  Tou Ji or To Ji (literally means winter solstice)

A few weeks (about 15 days) starting around 22nd of December is called Toji [or Tou Ji : Winter Solstice].

When solar celestial longitude gets 270 degrees, the most south, the solar height becomes lowest in the year in Northern Hemisphere. Therefore, the daytime is shortest in the year and cold increase severity. In Japanese custom, we eat “Japanese Pumpkin” and Konnyaku (devil’s tongue) to pray for luck of money. Also, we take Yuzuburo (citron bath) to pray for health and fortune. From ancient times, there are many festivals held in all around the world to celebrate Toji (Winter Solstice), when sun approaches most in Northern Hemisphere. The festival of Christmas, which is originated in Europe is related to Toji this strongly.

Source:  http://www.b-zenjapan.com/nihon/12shiwasu.phtml

Winter solstice in Latin     sol=sun in      stice=stand still