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Winter Solstice Traditions to Celebrate the First Day of Winter

Winter solstice traditions #wintersolstice #wintercelebrationsWinter Solstice Traditions to say hello to winter

Our family loves celebrating the winter solstice. As we live in the Canadian mountains, embracing the darkening days and then return of the light is definitely something to celebrate! Although winter still has a long way to go, the Winter solstice marks the days lengthening again.


Winter solstice

What is the winter solstice?

The winter solstice marks the first day of winter, which is also the shortest day of the year. It falls on a different day each December, but in general, it tends to be between December 21st-23rd. The winter solstice for 2018 is December 21st. Days grow shorter every day until the winter solstice, then after, the days start to get longer again.

The shortest day of the year means night (darkness) is longer than the day (light)

However this depends on what hemisphere you live on.

What is the winter solstice

In the northern hemisphere it’s the winter solstice, if you live in the southern hemisphere, it’s actually summer and is called the summer solstice!

Snow fort castle- winter activities for kidsWinter Solstice Traditions to enjoy

  • Candle making. With our younger kids we like to roll up candles. Now that they’re older, we enjoy candle dipping. Our candles don’t always turn out perfectly, but it’s part of the fun.
  • Turn off the lights. Enjoy only candlelight on the day of the solstice. This brings awareness to that darkness and returning light.
  • Make an outdoor solstice spiral.

Solstice spiral

  • Host a winter solstice party! Invite friends over for some mulled wine or hot cocoa and enjoy an outdoor fire.
  • Give handmade gifts. We give our children’s gifts on the winter solstice and save Christmas day for Santa 😉
  • Enjoy handmade crafts like an orange pomanders, or using nature to create tree ornaments.
  • Get a live Christmas tree from the forest.
  • Have a sledding party before dark.
  • Go for a sleigh ride.Winter Solstice traditions
  • Bake a yule log dessert.
  • Find a local celebration. Many towns offer winter activities and celebrations.
  • Ice skating outdoors is super fun!
  • Build a snow fort or snowman.
  • Help the birds by putting feeders outside (you’ll have to do it the whole winter).

Winter solstice traditions

  • Create a large feast to enjoy with family and friends.
  • Write down new years intentions and goals. Because the solstice is the start of longer days, I like to use this time to create new goals to rebirth my life.
  • Make ice luminaries or snowball lanterns for the driveway. See a tutorial here.

Make Ice Luminaries (Ice lanterns)

Do you have a favorite way to celebrate the first day of winter?

Winter Solstice Traditions to celebrate the first day of winter #wintersolstice #winter #winteractivities #holidays

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Many of the links to products on this site are affiliate links. These are products that I've used or recommend based from homesteading experience. I do make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) from these sales.Family Food Garden is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com