Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Very Bottom of the Year

The sun goddess Amaterasu emerging from her cave

This is the fourth winter solstice that I've marked on this blog. The shortest day of the year is over, though we are in the middle of the longest night.

Now begins the long cycle of steadily lengthening days, more light each day until June 21, 2009, when we begin the descent back into the depths of late-December darkness.

The winter solstice was traditionally celebrated in Japan with festivities celebrating the emergence of the sun goddess Amaterasu: "Tricked by the other gods with a loud celebration, she peeks out to look and finds the image of herself in a mirror and is convinced by the other gods to return, bringing sunlight back to the universe.".

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