A Solstice Spectacular
If it were up to me, I'd skate outside all day on winter solstice. Duty may call and weather or location may not cooperate, but that doesn't mean we can still celebrate winter solstice in a full extravaganza style!
Since our Wings, Worms, and Wonder family is scattered all around the world, this Wonder Wednesday I'm offering an extravaganza of Solstice projects! A full round-up of 10 years worth of projects!
You'll find 15 links to projects ranging from painting to cooking, walking to sipping a cup of tea, sewing to science! And a couple have projects within projects to add exponentially to the fun!
You could literally make a solstice calendar and do a project a day from December 1 - 21!
Whether it's winter or summer solstice in your neck of the woods, you will have some fun projects to get into!
(Although I will admit there are more winter projects, but many, like the drawings, paintings, and cards, can be easily adapted to summer and a quick blog search from any one of the links below will take you to a plethora of summer solstice specific projects too!)
Before we jump into the hands on fun, let's explore a little science and history around solstice.
In the year 2022 CE, on December 21, at 4:48pm, it will be solstice.
This is exact the astronomical minute that the Sun reaches the Tropic of Capricorn in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the official start of winter.
The 21st of December, 2022, is the shortest day, and longest night, of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It may or may not be the coldest day, but it is the day of the year with the shortest least amount of daylight.
In the southern hemisphere, flip it. It's the longest day and shortest night and the official start of summer. Over the equator nothing much changes as far as daylight lengths.
Depending on your hemisphere and who you are talking to, naming a solstice by winter or summer can get confusing, so often for clarity the solstices are referred to by their month, instead of their season.
During the December solstice, the sun appears to be at its lowest point in the sky. The actual minute of solstice is when the North Pole is at its farthest tilt away from the sun, at 23.5 degrees.
Credit - Farmer's Almanac
After the December solstice, the daylight begins to slowly increase, until the June solstice and the cycles revolves on and on!
Solstice, the word, comes from the Latin sol (meaning Sun) and sistere (meaning to stand still). So Solstice means Sun Stands Still.
This name was given because, during the solstice, the angle between the Sun’s rays and the plane of the Earth’s equator (or declination) appears to stand still. Of course the Earth isn't actually pausing its rotation around the sun.
Many modern winter holiday celebrations and customs evolved from ancient solstice celebrations.
It is easy to imagine why the sun and the day's length was so important for our hunter gatherer ancestors.
But what about today?
How do we celebrate past and present cultures on the solstice?
Visit Tulum, Mexico, and make an early trek to the ancient ruins. One of the Mayan stone buildings features a small hole at its top. When the sun rises on the solstice, a starburst effect shines through the hole. Many architectural tricks like this were employed by powerful ancient people to show how rulers were in contact with the Gods.
If you are at Stonehenge, England, on winter solstice, you'll join many others to watch the sun's rays align with what is called the central altar stone and the slaughter stone.
If you are at Goseck Circle, Germany, you'll see the two gates cut into the outermost circle line up with the sunrise and sunset on the winter solstice.
If you are in Iran, you will celebrate by reading poetry and eating pomegranates (Delightful!). And in Guatamala you may be lucky to watch the death defying polo voladore, "flying pole dance"!
Now, what about you?
What will you choose from the list below to curate your Solstice traditions?
Wonder Wednesday 125:
15 Winter Solstice Celebration Ideas!
These classic woven paper snowflakes are so pretty!
They are perfect for adding that winter vibe whether you have snow or flowers out your windows in December!
& if you have palm trees you're in for a special variation!
Take a Soothing Solstice Walk
Sometimes the toughest thing to do when it's cold and dark is to motivate to go outside. But a good bundle up and bounce into nature is often just the thing for energizing the body and mind. Add some intention and nature connection and take a Solstice walk!
Sorrel Drink is a classic winter holiday drink throughout the Caribbean and much of the tropical world.
The bright red color is beyond cheery - and then combine that with the spices and fruits and you have a winning recipe to uplift and warm the spirits.
In this project Collect and learn to wrap beautiful stones in beautiful colors and patterns to decorate your solstice celebrations!
(The patterns in this project are for older children and up, but younger children can have fun playing with string and stones too.)
Solstice Evergreen Tea
Have you ever tried evergreen tea?
It's one of my absolute favorites!
Fir or pine they are both delicious! It's high in vitamin C and must be the quintessential taste of winter!
Solstice Nature Cards
Gather natural items and create your own winter solstice cards to deliver to all your friends!
That will brighten up the longest night of the year for sure!
This project includes a card template for you to print!
7 Solstice Celebrations
This round up has so much goodness! You'll find 2 types of easy make candle projects, info on Hygge (the Danish way of being extra cozy), Solstice Spirals, Salves, Chocolate, and More!
This was the very first Wings, Worms, and Wonder Solstice round up fro 2012!
You'll find lots of fun decor projects, alongs with some science, some snowy stories, snowflakes and more!
Candied citrus peels are so delicious and easy to make!
They bring an extra bit of sweet sunshine to the shortest day of the year.
They keep well and make cheerful tasty gifts too!
Snow Day Maple Taffy
If this Solstice brings you snow, you have to make this maple taffy!
It is so easy and soooo good! And would make the perfect compliment to some snow cream too!
In this project we learn all about the awe inspiring and wonder sparking science of snowflakes!
Then we make some fun and fairly simple 6 pointed paper cut snowflakes!
Whether you live in an icy climate or not, you can still add icicles to anything you draw - for reality or just for fun!
This project is super easy and fun for all artistic levels!
Grow "Snow" Crystals
You may not have real snow crystals on your windows this Solstice, but if you plan ahead, you can easily grow your own!
Make your own home grown crystal snowflakes with things you likely have in your kitchen and craft bin!
Draw Cute Cardinals
Not many birds shine in the dark cold short Solstice days like the bright red male cardinal does. So why not learn to draw him yourself?
You can do it!
In this project I break the process down
Then you can add him and his friends to your solstice cards!
Has watercolor painting with white ever seemed confusing? And if so how can you paint snow?
Well confuse no more!
Here I offer you 3 winter stories and 3 fun ways to paint winter whites in watercolor!
Brew some tea, light a candle, get cozy, and paint yourself up some winter scenes wherever you are!
Spectacular science, stellar scenery, special times, soothing stories, special sweets...could solstice be any better?
What is your favorite way to celebrate the winter solstice? Share in the comments below!
Share photos of your celebrations on Instagram #wingswormsandwonder so we can celebrate your fun too!
Seeds to Sprout
Seeking a gift that gives all year for that special nature lover?
How about one of the Wings, Worms, and Wonder books?
They ship worldwide, are low impact print-on-demand, and support a female owned small business - all while offering the reader so many creative nature connection ideas that weave across generations and inspire for a lifetime!