Since prehistory, the winter solstice has been a significant time of year in many cultures. It marked the symbolic death and rebirth of the Sun. The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days. Astronomical events were often used to guide activities, such as the mating of animals, the sowing of crops, and the monitoring of winter reserves of food. Many cultural mythologies and traditions are derived from this.
In the Andes there are two seasons to celebrate Father Sun (Tata Inti). In summer we thank him for being close to us and in winter, to offer prayers calling him back when it looks like Father Sun is going too far away. These agriculture schedules are related to traditional music in the Andes.
Listen in for two very special Andean Half Hours during Reflections of Community Outreach, ROCO, on the 20th and 27th December at 1:30 PM. There we will recognize this day as a common link to our past, and a way to explore the different cultural celebrations of our present.