Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice Rituals

Rituals are like theatrical plays or operas. With the passage of time, their content is continuously reinterpreted and imbued with contemporary meaning. Rituals are ideal surfaces for projection. They consist of symbols that are interpreted unconsciously or personally. Christmas is such a ritual. The way we celebrate it remains constant; individual approaches and interpretations, on the other hand, are always variable. Christmas is a complex ritual with elements of the tree and forest cults, agricultural rituals, magic customs, applied folk botany, rites of sacrifice, mystery plays, feasts, and all kinds of social exchange. Christmas is also a “feast of love” involving symbolic plants; nearly all the plants of Christmas have a historical association with fertility, love magic, or aphrodisiac effects. Thus, for ages, Christmas plants have provided a safe haven and domain of contemplation on dark and cold midwinter nights, with their blessings and their dangers.




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