What is the Winter Solstice?

The Winter Solstice has been celebrated for centuries and is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. It’s a time that is known for the sun to stand still before moving forwards to the slow progression of longer days. It has carried strong symbolism and some people refer to it as a rebirth of the sun. Occurring sometime between December 20 – 22 in the Northern Hemisphere. It also coincides with the holiday season that is in full force as well as an astrological change from the sun being in the outgoing sign of Sagittarius into the seriousness of Capricorn. There’s a lot going on!

It’s a time to honour the darkness and celebrate the light. It’s the perfect time for self reflection, putting yourself on pause and going within to connect to your own darkness and let go. I’m in the process of doing just that. Taking the time out that I need to re-group and letting go of thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve me. I know how busy most of us are at this time of the year, but I also see a lot more people doing the same. Taking the time to be quiet and reflect on the past year and starting to gear up for what’s ahead into 2017.

My haiku journey is a big part of my reflection during this Winter Solstice. At times I’ve been faced with my own doubts and insecurities of what I’m doing here. It’s all new with blogging and posting which is certainly taking me out of my comfort zone of wanting to stay inward with my introverted nature. But, I’m letting all of it go and continue to move forward. As I write more haiku, I grow and see the benefits from writing haiku more and more. It keeps me in the moment in such a powerful way.

The Winter Solstice doesn’t have to be a dark or somber reflective experience—it can be joyful and lighthearted. The festive lights and social gatherings are all part of it too. Celebrate the light and get creative! People love homemade gifts that come from the heart.

 

Here are two winter solstice haiku written by one of the haiku masters

snowflakes flitting down–
a winter solstice
celebration

Issa – translated by David G. Lanoue

 

winter solstice in Japan–
plum trees
in bloom!

Issa – translated by David G. Lanoue

 

This haiku is by Nozawa Boncho who became an important disciple of the great haiku master Basho. It’s not specific to the winter solstice or a celebration, but is a clear representation of the winter months and how life was in Japan several centuries ago.

time of winter drizzle
the only light comes
from the charcoal shop window

Boncho – translated by Tom Lowenstein

 

As we approach the end of the year everyone is gearing up for 2017. January is the perfect time to take the FREE 5 day mini introductory course to see how haiku can have a healing effect on you. Why not start the new year off on a positive note, tap into your creative side and learn a new skill. Join me into the beautiful world of Everyday Haiku.

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