Summer solstice is nearly upon us! Called Midsummer or Litha by Western European Pagans, summer solstice, the longest day of the year, is a special day across the globe.
photo cred: kidstuffworld.com
And here in Canada it is also National Aboriginal Day – a day when we can celebrate the diversity and community of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people.
The summer solstice has always been a sacred time for Aboriginal people. Traditionally, Plains people have celebrated and honoured this time of year with intense Sun Dance ceremonies. Solstice was the start of our calendar, and many of the ancient stone circles, very much like Stonehenge in the UK, that have been found across North America, including Oodena at the Forks here in Winnipeg, have centred on this day!
The word of the day is “snow” : “snow” is the word of the day.
Now that I think about it, I’ve written about snow several times. I’m sure it’s a Winnipeg thing. Here, there’s a lot of snow to go around.
Years ago I wrote a story about tobogganing with my brother and cousin and called it, you guessed it: “Snow!”
And just today, I was talking about how some Aboriginal languages have different words to distinguish types of snow, or snow in various states of melting or freezing. Snow has personality; snow changes, differs, melts, freezes, sparkles; snow is worth talking about. Winnipeggers know this, understand this. So before winter really sets in and makes us crazy, let’s remember the good qualities of all that marvelous snow!