CVMISS celebrates winter solstice

The Comox Valley Multicultural & Immigrant Support Society hosts a winter solstice celebration Friday in downtown Courtenay.

The Comox Valley Multicultural & Immigrant Support Society hosts a winter solstice celebration this Friday in downtown Courtenay at the corner of Fifth and England from 1 to 5 p.m.

The solstice has nothing to do with religion, race or nationality. It marks the time of year when days become longer.

Cultural practices are infinite. Most revolve around the concept of light and birth with candles being the most common symbol.

Winter solstice, which usually falls on Dec. 21, has been celebrated throughout the world for thousands of years.

In Iran, it is called Shab-e Yalda, in ancient Greece Lenaia and in Rome Saturnalia. Scandinavian and Germanic countries celebrate Saint Lucia around this time. Belgium is the home to the Koleduvane Festival, which celebrates the birth of the Sun. Poland has the festival of Gody where people forgive one another and share food.

It is also an important component of Central and South American indigenous communities, including El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize and Peru. Judaism celebrates Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights; the Hindu Sankranti takes place on the solstice Jan. 14; and in native American spirituality, the Pueblo tribe follows summer and winter solstices.

Japan, Korea and China also celebrates winter solstice. Dongzhi 冬至 is the name in Mandarin which means ‘extreme of winter.’ In extreme cold, Chinese eat Tang-Yuan (sweet balls served with hot sugar water) to warm their bodies.

Tang is a soup and Yuan is round, which implies reunion. To eat it on the winter solstice is a custom. Children are told that people can add one year to their age after eating Tang-Yuan.

CVMISS welcomes everyone to celebrate Friday, along with millions of people worldwide. The society will provide warm drinks, cookies and games. It will also prepare tealights, with one lit when a participant joins.

The afternoon will include singing and a winter solstice quiz.

Participants are encouraged to bring a pair of socks or anything to keep warm. Collected items will be donated to homeless outreach organizations.

— Comox Valley Multicultural & Immigrant Support Society

Just Posted

Comox Valley libraries have plenty to offer during Family Literacy Week

Colleen Nelson Special to The Record Do you have a young reader… Continue reading

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

Comox Legion celebrates Robbie Burns day

The Comox Valley Pipe Band Society is celebrating Robbie Burns on Jan.… Continue reading

VIDEO: École Puntledge Park Elementary celebrates winter solstice

The event was a part of the school’s Indigenous education curriculum

Valley company reaching out to women near and far

Three Comox Valley business women know firsthand what good menstrual products can… Continue reading

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Comox Valley libraries have plenty to offer during Family Literacy Week

Colleen Nelson Special to The Record Do you have a young reader… Continue reading

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Most Read