Today, the 21st of January, I shall see the sun again.
This is quite a big deal, seeing as I have not seen my dear friend at all for a month now. I live very very far north in Norway, and from around the 21st of December to the 21st of January, the sun never rises above the horizon. It’s dark 24/7, and it tends to make my mood dark as well.
Today however is what we refer to as Soldagen, or “the Sun-day” (not to be mistaken for the week day Sunday), and we celebrate the return of the sun and the brighter days that will follow by drinking hot chocolate and eating Solboller, which is a kind of bun, much like a Berliner. Children often make these buns in school, as well as decorating the rooms with paper suns, and dressing up in yellow, or making little sun-hats to put on their heads to wear to the feast where they eat the buns and enjoy the hot chocolate. What a fantastic tradition!
I’m originally from a town much further south in Norway, close to the middle (Norway is not a big country, but it’s very long so the distances are great), and we don’t have this tradition, seeing as the sun never disappears completely as it does up here. Today is therefore my first Soldag, and I’m quite excited about it.
As some of you know, I’m a pagan, and I celebrate the Sabbats. Soldagen is very much like Imbolc/Candlemas/Brigid’s day, though it happens a week earlier. During Imbolc which is celebrated on the 1st of February; Witches celebrate the return of the sun or the light, and the brighter days to come by lighting candles, purifying themselves, renewing promises and intentions, and many witches also bless their seeds on this day. Candles and lighted lanterns are placed in every room to encourage and welcome the return of the sun. Imbolg is a time for new beginnings, and it is a great time for renewing your new-years promises, seeing as it is the first Sabbat of the calendar year.
In my opinion, Soldagen is a bit like Imbolc, and it warms my pagan heart to see an entire city celebrating the return of the sun with me.
So how about you? Are you going to celebrate the return of the sun? If so, how? Any traditions specific to your home town/country?