Winter solstice, or midwinter, marks the shortest day of the year and when the sun sits lowest at midday. In 2018, this happens on 21st December. Depending on where you are in the world, you may have little or no light until spring returns.
In Sweden, the long dark winters are celebrated by bringing light into our homes and places of work. So rather than feeling glum over the lack of light come 4pm in the UK (or as early as 1.30pm in my native Sweden), make the most of the special light at dusk. Take the opportunity to bring cheerful or soothing coloured textiles into your home, light candles in the afternoon and early evening and fill the house with wintery smells like cinnamon, cloves and even moss. The Chalk & Moss online shop has a new kitchen textile collection dedicated to this winter celebration, called the “Solstice” by Softer + Wild. We also sell vegan soy wax and essential oil candles perfect for the occasion.
Facts about Winter Solstice
Here are a few facts you may not know about Winter solstice:
- The actual winter solstice happens at a specific time of day. This is the moment when the North Pole points furthest away from the sun on the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth’s axis.
- The north of Scandinavia and Alaska will remain in dusk light during winter daytime hours. The sun sets fully early afternoon.
- Ancient cultures treated winter solstice as a time of death and rebirth. In Scandinavia, animals were slaughtered mid winter to see people through these tough months. Yule logs were burned to welcome new birth as light returned in spring.
- The word “solstice” comes from the word solstitium and translates as “sun” (sol) and “stands still” (sistere). To the naked eye, it looks like the sun makes little movement as it hovers closer to the horizon at this time.
- Stone Henge aligns with the setting sun at the night of the winter solstice.
- Some cultures, as seen in Germanic, Celtic and Iranian folklore, believed evil spirits wander the earth at winter solstice. So people stayed awake, spending the evening talking, eating, reading and telling stories with others to keep spirits at bay.
Get your home ready for Winter Solstice
Made entirely in Britain, Softer + Wild’s new range unites Scandinavian shapes and colours with Eastern European folklore patterns to create a universally charming style that’s evocative of the early 1970s.
Founder and Head of Design, Tatiana Kavanagh said: “When creating this particular range, I had very visceral images in my mind: quiet white evenings by the fire, stylish minimalist kitchens, rustic wooden tables, Scandinavian interiors and the joy and warmth of colour.
These styles and colours happily tap into current trends for nature-inspired themes and Scandinavian living. Or for any customer looking for something unique and vibrant.”
Click on the images below to see the products in the shop.
Winter Solstice kitchen textiles & Scented candles
For your winter solstice and Christmas homewares, look also to the poppy red and mustard tea towels and napkins, also in red and mustard with a winter leaf design. Both are available in tangerine and peach too.
Don’t sit in the dark, but add some soothing scents with beautiful natural candle light. Chalk & Moss sells hand crafted candles by Join, made from vegan soy wax and pure essential oils. Because they don’t contain toxic paraffin, these scented candles produce a smoke free flame and a healthy aroma. Scents include Bay + Rosemary, Fern, Pink Grapefruit, Lavender, High Tide, Low Tide, Driftwood, Hedgerow and more. Hedgerow, Lavender and Pebble are also available as a delightful natural eco room spray. See all these products here.
So snuggle up by candle light, get creative in the kitchen, and take moments to enjoy the cold and darkness.
If you enjoy wintery scenes and spending time outdoors in frosty weather, you may like my blog post about cross country skiing in Sweden. It’s where the wintery photos in this post were from.
Winter solstice information source: mentalfloss.com