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By Witchipedia, Festivals

Midwinter: Traditions, Correspondences & Festivals

Updated on:

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)

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Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Midwinter Day is a modern Pagan holiday that takes place at the time of the Winter Solstice.

Some modern Pagans use the term Midwinter as a general term for a holiday, encompassing traditional celebrations from a variety of mostly European cultures either to identify their own eclectic celebrations or to encompass the many types of celebrations found among their fellows, or both.

Some, particularly reconstructionists, have more specific names for their Midwinter festivities.

Some secularists have also adopted the name Midwinter in order to remove religious context from winter festivities.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Midwinter, also known as the Winter Solstice, marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, usually occurring around December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere, and has been celebrated for centuries.

In terms of correspondences, Midwinter is associated with elements like fire and water, as well as crystals like garnet and moonstone. It’s a time for introspection, inner growth, and setting intentions for the year ahead.

Some of the most notable Midwinter festivals include Yule in Norse traditions, Saturnalia in ancient Rome, and Christmas in Christian customs, each with its unique rituals and symbolism, but all emphasizing the themes of rebirth and renewal.

One fascinating fact is that Stonehenge in England aligns with the Winter Solstice sunrise, highlighting the significance of this celestial event in ancient cultures’ lives and calendars.

Midwinter Traditions

Most Pagans celebrate Midwinter in accordance with the secular traditions popular throughout the Western world including decorating trees, indoors and out, giving to charities, gathering, feasting and exchanging gifts with friends and family, baking, singing and drinking.

The more spiritual aspects of the holiday vary by tradition but may include house blessing, staying up all night by candlelight or firelight to watch the sunrise, storytelling and making specific craft or food offerings for the Gods, particularly Sun Gods.

See also Winter Solstice

Midwinter Correspondences

  • Incense- Frankincense, myrrh, pine
  • Animals- Stags, squirrels, wrens, robins, juncos, cardinals
  • Colors- red, green, gold, silver and white
  • Herbs- holly, mistletoe, all evergreens, yew, fir, birch, oak, ivy, bay laurel, pine, ginger, cinnamon, valerian
  • Symbols- Yule log, evergreen trees, mistletoe, holly, sun, star, even-armed cross, wreaths, candles, any sort of light or lamp, animals with their winter coats on
  • Food – Cider, apples, pork, nuts, citrus, dried fruit, fruit cakes, mincemeat pies, figgy pudding
  • Gods and Goddesses- All Sun Gods, The Oak King, The Holly King, the Dagda, Brigid, Poseidon, Saturn, Helios, Balder, Odin, Lugh, The Horned God, The Green Man, Frey, Jesus

Specific Midwinter Festivals

  • Meán Geimhridh
  • Alban Arthan
  • Midvinterblot
  • Yule
  • Heliogenna
About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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