It’s the middle of Winter, which has been marked as, or by, a big, ritualistic, ceremonial, symbolic, dogmatic, enthusiastic, sacred, profane public & private celebration for thousands of years, at least in the cultures that happened to thrive well enough in the northern latitudes, where the middle of the cold part of the year is a big deal, because everybody is depressed in all the cold & dark & they’re getting tired of having to mostly stay indoors in the same place with the same people & everybody is getting on everybody else’s nerves & cabin fever is becoming normal & they all really needed an excuse to get together & get high & acknowledge that thet were half way through the time after which things could quite possibly get much better… or not. One never knew, back then, for thousands of years. Things could always be worse, & sometimes they did so. Sometimes not.
In the tropical latitudes, not so much. Polynesians didn’t really know what winter was, how would they? So they didn’t have this Death & Rebirth thing going on like the Norse Folk. South of the Equator, what? Is there, was there, an ancient midwinter celebration in Tierra Del Fuego? If so, it was not well reported.
Out here the air is so clear, the light is so bright & pure it hurts your eyes. No, really. Less shielding (by rain clouds, smog, whatever) means more bad nuclear radiation from the life-giving Sun is frying yer eyeballs so yer more likely to get cataracts in yer eyes if you stay here too long. I don’t have any sources to cite to back this up, I happened to hear somebody tell me that during a Thanksgiving celebration in Albuquerque & I believe it. It’s so beautiful out here you could go blind looking at it. Nature is cruel. Out here on the Desert (it’s not really a desert out here, it’s a prairie, the Lone Prairie, as in bury me not thereon) life is cheap. It’s traditional.
Another solar revolution goes whistling by. Nothing will ever be the same.