Tomorrow — December 21 — is the Winter Solstice, Great Yule — a major natural holiday from ancient times сelebrating the winter rebirth of the sun. It is the day when the sun stops lowering its daily arc across the sky, followed by its gradual rising again through spring and summer. From tomorrow on, the nights grow shorter and the days longer.  It is the time when we celebrate the beginning of the return of light and warmth, the rising of the yang (active, warm, bright) energies.  More ancient than Christmas, it is a celebration of Nature and our place in the universe, and an important part of the hokku/daoku year.

There are many ways to observe the Winter Solstice, from the simple to elaborate feasting and colorful rituals. However you please, I hope you will all take some time to rejoice in this significant midwinter festival.

Here is an old verse by Seibi:

Slowly, slowly
The sun rises over the pines;
The Winter Solstice.

Glad Yule!



  1. The exact time of the winter solstice here is in another 58 minutes and this year I SHALL stop and put my hands together in celebration of Nature and our place in it 🙏

  2. I went to a nearby pond to watch the solstice sunrise, hoping the grebe (a winter resident) would be there so that I could say “Happy Tōji,” but a muskrat was swimming around and must have scared the grebe away. First time I’ve ever seen that muskrat.
    I like Seibi’s hokku. Thanks for sharing that with us, David, and Happy Tōji ! (and Happy New Year! A new solar cycle begins, today.)

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