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THE SEASON OF WINTER

Jack Frost and The Hooded Crow


Through long December nights we talk in words of rain and snow
while you,through chattering teeth,reply and curse us as you go.
Why not spare a throught this day for those who have no flame
To warm their bones at Christmas time?
Say Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow

Now as the last broad oak leaf falls,we beg:consider this---
there's some who have no coin to save for turkey,wine or gifts.
No children's laughter round the fire,no family left to know
So lend a warm and a helping hand---
say Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow.

As holly pricks and ivy clings
your fate is none to clear
The Lord may find you wanting,let your good fortune disappear
All homey comforts blown away and all that's left to show
is to share your joy at Christmas time
with Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow.

(Jethro Tull:Ian Anderson)

Habitat for Humanity

www.habitat.org
Habitat for humanity is an organization that helps in the fight against homelessness. Habitat for humanity partners with local organizations,volunteers,and people in need to build a world without shacks. There is even a program for green building. Find out how you can volunteer in your area.


A LITANY FOR THE WINTER SOLSTACE

For the return of the sun-blessing and praise!
For the gifts we give-and recieve-blessing and praise!
For all the gift-givers-blessings and praise!
For all the Children of Wonder-blessings and praise!
For Children everywhere-blessings and praise!
For sunsets and starlight-blessings and praise!
For fabulous feast days-blessings and praise!
For those who cook them-blessings and praise!
For the tree in the corner-blessings and praise!
For the candles in the window-blessings and praise!
For the icicles on the trees-blessings and praise!
For light on the snowfields-blessings and praise!
For the gifts of friendship-blessings and praise!
For hand-bell ringers-blessings and praise!
For the robin and wren-blessings and praise!
For animals everywhere-blessings and praise!
John Mattews:The Winter Solstace:The Sacred Traditions of Christmas

Winter Holiday Links

Updated 11-26-02
Saturnalia
The Egyptians celebrated the rebirth of the sun at this time of year about Four thousand years ago. The length of the festival was 12 days, to reflect the 12 divisions in their sun calendar that we use also. They decorated with greenery, using palms with 12 shoots as a symbol of the completed year, since a palm was thought to sprout a new shoot each month of the year.
The Egyptian celibration was assimilated into ancient Rome and was used for a festival to the ancient god of time, Saturn. The people made merry. They feasted, they gave gifts, they also decorated their homes with greenery. All business was stopped. All grudges and quarrels forgotten; wars interrupted or postponed. Businesses, courts, schools closed. Rich and poor became for the time being as equal, slaves would be served by thier masters,Cross-dressing and masquerades were the norm. A mock king -- the Lord of Misrule -- was crowned. Candles and lamps chased away the spirits of darkness

The Lodge of Herne:A Place for Pagan Men:Gods Index:Saturn:
A Saturnalia Poem:
Saturnalia-Sacaea:
Wassailing Song
Wisselton wasselton, who lives here? We've come to taste your Christmas beer. Up the kitchen and down the hall, Holly ivy, and mistletoe A peck of apples will serve us all, Give us some apples and let us go.
Winter Solstace/Yule
Usually celibrated around the 21st of December the Winter Solstace marks the time when we will have the longest night of the year. This will be a time of transition when we will be turning the wheel of the year back toward spring and summer. This is a time of "Waking up the Sun" so that the world may thaw and spring and light will return to our world.
A Nifty Yule Advent Calender:
Maeshowe Winter Solstace:Neolithic Chambered Cairn: Broadcasts and observations
Willow Firesongs Pagan Yule Carols:
Winter Solstace Ceremony:
Celebrating Yule or a Pagan Family's Blend of Yule and Christmas.:
Ashlynn's Grove Archives:
The Wassail Page!!!!:A Wassail Compendum.
Apple Tree Wassailing.:
Wassail Song.:
Yule Plum Pudding:
Celibrate the Winter Solstace in a unique way,BUILD YOUR OWN STONEHENGE!!!A fun guide for Parents and Kids to share
Winter Solstace-Saulegraza:A Balkan Pagan Winter Solstace Tradition
The Christmas Archives:xtain oriented but some good info.
This is a nifty page to send bonified Solstace Greeting Cards by Email. Nice stuff.:
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KWANZAA:December 26
KWANZAA, the African-American spiritual holiday was created by Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga on December 26, 1966. The celibration is based on the cultural principles of a theory called Kawaida. The Kawaida theory is that social revolutionary change for Black America can be achieved by the act of revealing and disclosing individuals to their cultural heritage.

Kwanzaa Information Pages.Melanet Website.
Kwanzaa Celibration:Family.Com
Up-Helly Aa

Floats the ravan banner o'er us,
Round our Dragon Ship we stand,
Voices joined in gladsome chorus,
Raised aloft the flaming band.

Every guizer has a duty
When he joins the festive throng
Honour, freedom, love and beauty
In the feast, the dance, the song.

UP-HELLY-AA is a relatively modern festival. There is some evidence that people in rural Shetland celebrated the 24th day after Christmas as "Antonsmas" or "Up Helly Night", but there is no evidence that their cousins in Lerwick did the same. The emergence of Yuletide and New Year festivities in the town seems to post-date the Napoleonic Wars, when soldiers and sailors came home with rowdy habits and a taste for firearms.

UP-HELLY-AA 1998History and Info.
Up Helly AA - 2001 (Lerwick)
Shetlands "Up Helly Aa" festival 2002
Hogmany
Hogmanay's roots reach back to the ancient worship of sun and fire during mid-Winter. This evolved into Saturnalia, a Roman Winter festival, where people celebrated completely free of restraint and inhibition. The Norse celebrated Yule, which became the twelve days of christmas,This Winter festival went underground with the Reformation but re-emerged at the end of the 17th Century. Since then the customs have continued to evolve to the modern day.
Hogmany is a very very important celibration in Scotland and one that overshadows any other celibration of the year.


Hogmany Faq.:Informative info on Hogmany.
Hogman(a hogmany cartoon.):by leonard o'grady
Hogmanay! The Scots at New Year:John O'groats.
Food toasting:Hogmany:Old Lang Zyne.
Burns Night
Burns Night:January 25th:About this Holiday.

IMBOLC/BRIDE


Imbolc/Bride(February 1st)
Imbolc(also known as Candlemas, Oimelc - which means 'milk of ewes', for it is also lambing season - and Lady Day)is celebrated by pagans throughout the world on this day. Imbolc is a fire festival and celebrates the coming of Spring.
By November 1st, the harvest is in and the seeds of the winter crops are planted. These seeds will lay dormant until Imbolc then they begin to push through the cold earth.

"Candlemas Carol"
"Down with the rosemary and bay
Down with the mistletoe,
instead of holly, now upraise
the greener box to show.
Where holly hitherto did praise
let box now domineer,
until the dancing Easter's day
or Easter's eve appear."
A.A.C.T's Imbolc Page
Witches Web Imbolc Page
IOA knowledge Bank-Imbolk
Imbolc recipies
Imbolc Poem
Imbolc the Light Returns
Crossroads sesonal web world imboc Day of the Shadowentertaining info for kids about groundhog day.
Groundhog DayMore info and lore about groundhog day. The celebration that most celebrate on Imbolc.

Bibliography
The Winter Solstace: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas:John MatthewsQuest books ISBN 0-8356-0769-0
I cannot say enough about this book, I heartily reccomend this book to anyone with an interest in the celibration of the winter seasons. John Matthews has produced several excellent books and this is the best of them.
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Artwork by Joanna Powell Colbert. Used with permission.
www.jpc-artworks.com

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