Winter Solstice

Into the Light

Winter Solstice is Wednesday, December 21st, and we are planning a special evening at Westwood starting at 7:00pm!

Due to space limitations this is a FREE TICKET event. Reserve your spot now.

Event volunteers, including singers & musicians, do NOT need a ticket. We have already counted you in the numbers.

How might you help, and ensure you get a ticket, you ask? 

We still have a few volunteer vacancies: please click on the “Volunteer Sign Up” button below. 

Questions? email

Can’t attend in person?

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 995 4538 4626

2022 Solstice Charity: The Strathcona Neighbour Centre

Each year the Westwood Social Justice Committee recommends a small, local charity as the recipient of our Solstice offering. Click on the “Support Our Solstice Charity” button, above, to learn more about the good work this organisation is doing in our community.

How to contribute?

  • directly through the button above
  • at Westwood during our solstice service
  • or by e-transfer to
Making a donation through Westwood?

Be sure to note “solstice charity or Neighbour Centre” on any e-transfer or cheque to differentiate it from contributions to Westwood.

Celebrating the return of the sun to the northern hemisphere is a long and cherished tradition at Westwood. It is an evening filled with the magic of music, story and community.

Over the years the venue and format  have changed to accommodate numbers and needs. 

Contact: if you would like to be part of the planning and preparation.

The Winter Solstice Tradition

The Druids, Celtic priests, thought the sun stood still at winter solstice and lit a fiery log to conquer darkness and bring good fortune in the coming year. They also cut and blessed mistletoe from the sacred oak tree as a symbol of life in the midst of winter.

In Northern Europe, the Norse told stories and drank ale around roaring bonfires at Winter Solstice. They imagined the sun as a “houl” or wheel that changed with each season. The Nordic aboriginal Saami people continue to celebrate their sun-goddess of fertility and sanity at this time of year.

Incan solstice rites of “tying of the sun” are still celebrated in Peru.

Judaism’s “Festival or Feast of Lights” called Hanukkah including the ritual lighting of the menorah candles and was timed to coincide with the original Pagan solstice ceremonies of light.

Celebrations at winter solstice are part of some North American Native traditions including the Hopi and Pueblo Indians.

In the Japanese Requiem for the Dead festivities, the sun goddess is tricked into emerging from her cave.

The Extreme of Winter Festival celebrated by Chinese and other East Asians is connected with the Buddhist and other eastern religions. For Taoists, it is a sign of “returning” and a time for family to get together.

Ancient Greeks celebrated Lenaea or Festival of the Wild Women at this time of year when the figure of Dionysius was ritualistically torn apart and then reappeared as a baby.

Ancient Roman Saturnalia rites included the lighting of candles, gift-giving, and decorating houses with greenery. And they marked this moment of change in a ritualized upside-down world where men dressed as women and servants as masters.

Early Pagan celebrations were combined by the Roman Emporer Aurelian to collectively celebrate the gods Apollo, Attis, Baal, Dionysus, Helios, Hercules, Horus, Mithra, Osiries, Perseus and Theseus in a gathering called “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.”

There are many worldwide traditions which involve celebrating the Winter Solstice and “Sharing the Light”.


Winter Solstice Updates

Winter Solstice Preview 2022

Winter Solstice is coming up Wednesday, December 21st, and we are planning a special evening at Westwood! How might you help, you ask? There are so many ways! If you are able to lend a hand in one of the following areas, please email Join the Winter Solstice planning committee Sing with Harmonia on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:15 (but not November 29) just until Solstice or join us for good Participate as a reader in calling the directions Volunteer to assist Hannah with the multi-platform technology Decorate the church Help with setting up before Help with cleaning up

Read More »

Sounding Board November 2022

The Westwood’s 2022 Autumn Auction FUNdraiser is coming up fast! Here’s your reminder that your donations are due by November 16th. The Community Council Meeting will take place on November 19th at Westwood, starting at 10:30 AM. Westwood Winter Solstice is back again this year! Our Solstice celebration will take place at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, December 21st at Westwood. We are happy to be in person and on ZOOM. Note that this is a free ticketed event, so get your tickets early if you want to be there in person! Watch for ticket information, coming soon. Contact if you would

Read More »
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By :