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Solstice 2023

Tonight we celebrate the winter solstice. This was a big holiday for our Viking ancestors, and we enjoy celebrating Yule each year in memory of them.

We like to mark the occasion in a way we hope they would have approved.

This year, we began a week ago when we attended a museum program about the customs followed during the historic solstice. Attendees sat in a room configured to resemble a Viking longhouse. Seated in a circle in this darkened room, we each held a candle. The northern lights were projected onto the ceiling. We all munched on Norwegian pastries as we listened to the speaker.

For our dinner menu tonight, we will serve Nordic food. This includes cod chowder and a cake fashioned to look like a Yule log. We will enjoy mead, or honey wine.

Burning a Viking-style Yule log presents a bit of a challenge as we do not have a wood burning fireplace. In lieu of this, depending on the days’ weather, I either turn on the gas fireplace or play a DVD of a huge burning log to set the mood while we eat. Later in the evening, we will sit outside beside the fire pit.

Here in Colorado, the weather today seems more autumn-like than wintery. We do not have the cold and dark weather that our Norwegian family experiences on the solstice. Still, we can see how little daylight we have on this shortest day of the year.

We will have our solstice meal this evening knowing that the days will now begin to get longer once again. Skål!

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