Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tomorrow... the winter solstice. Because of the tilt of the earth's axis, and its revolution around the sun, we experience seasons here on this planet. The winter solstice (the time when the sun appeared to primitive peoples to "stand still" so close to the horizon) is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

Years ago I wondered why people would celebrate the shortest day of the year. Eventually I realized that the celebration was not because the days were so short, but for the ending of the gradual descent of the sun in the sky, and the welcomed return of the sun higher and higher in the sky. Primitive people did not have precision instruments to gauge the exact date of the solstice, so they often waited several days. Then they could be sure of the change, as they saw the sun rising and setting higher above the horizon each day.

Tomorrow is also the beginning of Chanukah, which begins at sundown. Chanukah is the eight-day Jewish festival of lights. You can read more about Chanukah here.

If you are still looking for holiday gifts you can go to our on-line catalog by clicking here.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Artists' Colony that operated on the island more than 65 years ago. You can read it here.

To read about Philip's new book, Digging up Uncle Evans, History, Ghost Tales, & Stories from Ocracoke Island, please click here.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:45 PM

    A week or so ago the moon was really really big when it came over the horizon a week or so ago. Reports stated the moon was at the closest point in its orbit about the earth at the apogee and it will be another eight years before this happens again. I tell you as I am writing this and how the moon affects tides several people at work have had pneumonia and a fluid problem in the chest/heart region I wonder if the moon affects the fluids in our bodies???? Dis anyone on Ocracoke comment on the size of the moon last week?