In the Northern Hemisphere, winter solstice heralds a day with fewer hours of sunlight than any other, an astronomical occurrence that transcends time and culture. This year (2023) it will be celebrated on Thursday, Dec 21st.

For Native Americans, this day is not merely a celestial event, but a sacred occasion deeply rooted in their ancient beliefs and their reverence for the sun deity.

How To Celebrate Winter Solstice

As we stand on the threshold of this celestial event, let’s take a moment to delve into the wisdom of indigenous peoples and consider six powerful ways to celebrate winter solstice:

  1. Burn a Yule Log

Ignite the warmth within and without by embracing the age-old tradition of burning a Yule Log. For Native Americans, this act symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness, a ritual that transcends generations. 

Find a piece of wood, preferably oak or pine, and watch the flames dance as you connect with the elemental forces that have guided our ancestors through countless winters.

  1. Remember Loved Ones Lost

In the quiet moments of the solstice night, take time to remember and honor  those who have departed from this world. Light a candle, share stories, or create a small memorial to pay homage to those who once walked beside us. In this act of remembrance, we bridge the gap between the past and present, weaving the threads of our personal histories into the fabric of the cosmos.

  1. Share Gratitude on Social Media

In the age of digital connection, extend the warmth of the season by sharing your gratitude on social media platforms. Acknowledge the beauty of life, the strength of community, and the wisdom passed down from our ancestors. Let your words be a beacon of positivity, echoing the timeless wisdom that binds us all.

  1. Learn About an Ancestor

Unearth the roots of your own family tree during this introspective time. Discover stories and traditions of your ancestors, understanding their struggles and triumphs and how these have shaped your journey. In learning from the past, we illuminate the path to a future guided by the wisdom of those who came before us.

  1. Express Your Love for Others

Let the spirit of the season inspire acts of love and kindness. Reach out to friends, family, and even strangers with words of encouragement or simple gestures of goodwill. In this way, we become conduits of the positive energy that the winter solstice represents.

  1. Celebrate Hopi Heritage with a Soyal Katsina

Dive into the heart of Native American traditions by purchasing a Hopi Katsina in celebration of  Soyal. The Soyal ceremony, as performed by the Hopi people, marks the beginning of the winter solstice and the renewal of life. Learn about this ceremony, honoring the ancient ways that continue to shape the cultural landscape.

As the event approaches, we extend an invitation to you to educate yourself about Native American winter solstice traditions. Learn about Cahokia architecture, Hopi Soyal, Zuni Shalako ceremony and other traditions that are important to Native Americans at this season.

May this winter solstice be a time of connection, reflection, and profound spiritual growth. Embrace the traditions that resonate with your soul, and let the light within guide you through the longest night of the year.