The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas

The Winter Solstice The Sacred Traditions of Christmas Many of us long for an alternative to the commercial industry Christmas has become This beautifully illustrated full color book brimming with folklore stories recipes games activities decoratin

  • Title: The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas
  • Author: John Matthews
  • ISBN: 9780835608343
  • Page: 374
  • Format: Paperback
  • Many of us long for an alternative to the commercial industry Christmas has become This beautifully illustrated, full color book, brimming with folklore, stories, recipes, games, activities, decorating ideas, songs, and other resources, will help families who are burned out on Christmas create alternative celebrations in keeping with the heartful spirit of the origMany of us long for an alternative to the commercial industry Christmas has become This beautifully illustrated, full color book, brimming with folklore, stories, recipes, games, activities, decorating ideas, songs, and other resources, will help families who are burned out on Christmas create alternative celebrations in keeping with the heartful spirit of the original Winter Solstice festivals.

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      Posted by:John Matthews
      Published :2018-09-02T18:30:19+00:00

    1 thought on “The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas”

    1. Had some interesting history of various winter customs. Seemed to be somewhat scattered in its organization. Nice illustrations. Where it lost me was in the new-age application of some old customs. Or just new-age concepts that are loosely based on ancient practices. For example, it goes through how the 12 days of Christmas were celebrated. One day didn't have a particular celebration tied to it, so the author just decided that you should use that day to honor Snow. And then writes a page or so [...]

    2. This is the most wonderful book for celebrating the Winter Holidays. It speaks eloquently about the age-old traditions that people have observed during the time of increading darkness and the return of the light. It is also very interesting to see which of these are echoed in the Christian Festival of Christmas. I get it out each year, put it on the coffee table, and dip into it from now until the end of the year. Beautiful illustrations and the Matthews are excellent writers.This is back on the [...]

    3. I read this book during Winter Solstice 2009. It is quite a thorough discussion of the history of the solstice in other times and cultures, and in our own. It gives some interesting information about Christmas and how traditions for that holiday have often evolved from Winter Solstice traditions. There are lots of nice photos too, along with some recipe and activity suggestions. I saw another reviewer write that she uses it as a seasonal coffeetable book, and that sounds like a perfect use for i [...]

    4. This time I didn't skim through the chapters; I actually read through the whole thing. He really gives a wonderful and insightful overview of Winter Solstice traditions throughout the many centuries. He gives suggestions on how to plan for one's celebration from Dec. 1 through Epiphany of January 6th. I'm planning on adding a few more traditions to my own family's celebrations. This is an excellent resource.

    5. This book was okay. I purchased it sight unseen online. This had a lot of history and color photos with a couple of crafts thrown in for good measure. It was a hardcovered book with nice glossy paper. I would consider it a reference or a coffee table book. If that is what you are looking for, then I recommend this book. I was hoping for more practical applications.

    6. Covering cultures around the world yet focusing mostly upon the European roots, and traditions of what is Christmas-tide. A celebration suggestion is offered at the end of each chapter.A section at the end is dedicated to the 12 Days, stories, traditions, and feasts for each day. What makes this book special for me is the inclusion of an original rite that can be performed with a group, or used as a personal meditation, written by the author called, The Sun in the Greenwood. Included in the cast [...]

    7. I was hoping that this book would be more scholarly than it ultimately was -- certain parts, particularly those concerning the celebration of one aspect of Midwinter or another, seemed geared towards readers with a background or interest in pagan spirituality. I've nothing against that personally, and can appreciate the desire to engage in traditional Solstice customs in a society whose holidays have become significantly disconnected from their roots, but the tone shift from intellectual to spir [...]

    8. This book is really a must for the end of the year festivities, regardless of your religion. It not only compares traditions of the celebrations of light from pagan times onwards, but offers explanations of the symbolism of all that we take for granted in what goes to make the season jolly. Recipes, crafts and lots of other great ideas!The table of contents has:1) The Solstice Dream (this chapter talks to Solstice celebrations and lore across the world and across the ages - from egypt to china t [...]

    9. I've re-read this book every year--at least in part--for the past several years. There's a lot here--mostly European and from Roman times forward, but still including the occasional other times and places, too. Poems, songs, stories, recipes, all within a frame discussing some of the recurring images and figures in winter solstice celebrations in many times and places. Fascinating for any fan of comparative mythology/anthropology/cultural history.A long section on the 12 Days of Christmas highli [...]

    10. This is fascinating history of Christmastime. I've never even heard of most of the traditions surrounding the winter solstice. Some of them seem odd because of my modern-day mentality. Most of them seem heathen, and a few of them supernatural. Not very many deal with the birth of Christ. Many deal with alcohol. :-P If our neighbors found us trying some of the traditions, they'd probably think we'd gone crazy and call the cops.Here are the main things I DID pick up and can apply:1. The 12 days of [...]

    11. Enjoyed this book very much. Beautifully written, and gorgeous pictures. I loved hearing the history behind different aspects of Christmas traditions (e.g. Father Christmas; the wren). I was a little skeptical about the historical veracity of some of the information here. There's a list of books in the back, but no footnotes, so there's no way to verify information; and sometimes there are dubious extrapolations (along the lines of "Clearly this tree was a fertility symbol"). Overall, though, I [...]

    12. Part of my Christmas book collection, I finally pulled this off the shelf and read it through. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of solstice celebrations that is common across multiple traditions, in order to explain elements of how we celebrate Christmas today. Though most of the examples come from the United Kingdom, other people's lore is brought in as well. There are suggestions for ceremonies to perform if you wish, but of most value to me was gaining a better understanding of the [...]

    13. I have wanted to begin reading this book near Solstice every year since I have had it, and somehow other things have gotten in the way. Thank goodness I finished the dreadful book I was reading in time to dip into this. It's more of a reference book than a cover-to-cover book, but I am already finding traditions that I would love to adopt, such as decorating an outside tree for birds and animals at winter solstice. This is a wonderful book for anyone of any spiritual persuasion who wants to cele [...]

    14. Really attractive, engaging easy-to-read book. The illustrations, especially the medieval illuminations, are exquisite. But wait where are the sources? Perhaps a bibliography could be furnished upon request, and the publisher felt like most people reading the book wouldn't be interested in one. But personally, I have a difficult time getting through history books when for all I know, the author could be making everything up. The information in this book sounds legitimate, but how should I know? [...]

    15. Great book. No- Jesus isnt the only reason for the season. Don't let the word christmas in the title lead you to believe this book is centered on only "one" belief. John Matthews tells how the traditions of Paganism, Christianity, and other folklore have been woven together to create what is now called christmas. Very well written, and totally unbiased. If you've been searching for a new or different way to celebrate the winter season, you'll find it here.

    16. Matthews really did his research with this book. The text is a bit dry, but the concepts are all fascinating. If you are looking for a different approach to the winter season and Christmas, give this book a look, as it really delves into where the traditions came from, what they have meant in the past, and new/old ways to celebrate.

    17. Exploring many of the traditions, folklore and ceremonies associated with the winter solstice, this book shows where some modern day customs came from and how different countries have similar tales of the season. It also gives suggestions for displays, recipes and plays to highlight the solstice if you are so inclined.

    18. Loved this book for right before Winter Solstice! Has some great information on the origins of the holiday season and how cultures before us celebrated. Also, how to celebrate yourself! Highly recommended and I will be looking this book over before every Winter Solstice!

    19. As usual for John Matthews this book is informative & inspiring. There is information on how people all over the world have done & still do celebrate midwinter with thoughts on how we can celebrate this most important of natural holidays.I am ready to get celebrating!

    20. A very interesting look at the traditions associated with the winter solstice. The author draws the links between celebrations dating well before Christ to those of modern-day Christmas, and includes information from non-Western cultures as well.

    21. This book provides wonderful history regarding the solstice as suggestions for celebrating the Winter Solstice.

    22. This book is outstanding. Wonderfully crafted and full of research, customs, and legitimate information. Fantastic for researching Yule or Winter Solstice and for adding to your ritual celebrations.

    23. Very interesting. It's a good book to just have lying around for when you need something to flip through.

    24. This treasure has tales/facts and images from all aspects of the winter holidays, from Paganism to Christianity. If you are in that oh-so-cozy holiday mood you cannot beat The Winter Solstice!

    25. It was an interesting introduction to the background of holiday traditions from mid-December until Epiphany.

    26. This will DEFINITELY be in my library soon! A great companion to "The Celtic Devotional" by his wife, Caitlin.

    27. Enjoying yet another read of this book. Wonderfully written, beautiful illustrations and a thoughtful source of information on the origins of our Christmas traditions.

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