So here we are, the longest darkest night of the year. From tomorrow onwards we will turn back towards the sun, and light and warmth will slowly creep back into our lives. In the meantime all of the beautiful sparkling lights ,scattered across our homes and cities, will bring us pleasure and hope despite the darkness.
Ever since the Romans celebrated Saturnalia, trees have been hung with stars, Suns, and the faces of Janus the double headed God who guarded the start and end of the year. For more than two and a half thousand years the trees around our homes and cities have been decorated and celebrated, it was only 150 years ago that Queen Victoria rewrote our winter celebrations and trees were brought indoors.
In Edinburgh nowadays we are busy throwing the lights back outdoors, and into the trees which still remain with their roots in the earth. The whole city is sparkling with stars in the bare tree branches, winking at their cousins deep in the ocean of the night sky. Tiny points of light in an infinity of darkness.
So in these darkest of days, we can follow these beacons of light, pulling us ever closer to the gateway, guarded by the ancient God Janus, which leads us through into the new year. The darkness of night and winter is at is strongest, pressing in around the pools of light which guide us forwards and upwards. We only need to believe and follow our stars.
What we find as we cross the threshold into the ever increasing light of the sun might surprise us. It might be a wonderful combination of the new and the old, merging the two faces of Janus, bringing the best of the last year to light the way forwards into our new beginning.
Wishing you all a light filled Solstice Xx
These photos were all taken last week in the centre of Edinburgh, around the Christmas market. It’s such a great place to find some Christmas spirit, among the twinkling lights and the wonderful old buildings of Scotland’s capital city. Light in the darkness is so uplifting in these long dark Edinburgh winter nights, gifting us with hope and joy on the long Solstice night.