I'm going to sort of blast through this post, as our Long Night Observance has become pretty well established in past years, so anyone that's been reading here for awhile already knows what we do, and the photos all look about the same (although the kids get older every year!).
So on the night of the Winter Solstice we observed the Long Night -- we started with a candle-lighting ceremony and litany that talks about the turning of the wheel of the year and the return of the light and what it means to the earth and it's creatures. Then we did a call and response as our candles were lit.
I then read a multi-traditional solstice story that talks about gathering wax for a Solstice Lantern.
Then it was off for our lantern walk (see the post before this for the lanterns we made this year). It was cold and clear and windy -- first year I can remember doing this without snow on the ground. (There's snow now, it was just a couple days late!) There was, however, a bright full moon, which made for a very magical atmosphere, and was well-appreciated because the wind blew out our lanterns before we got very far!
Then the boys climbed into sleeping bags on the floor as we stoked up the fire and prepared to wait out the longest night of the year. Of course, we all fell asleep (although we're discussing trying to actually stay up for the full night next year).
(By the way, this photo is only possible due to the magic of flash photography -- we do not use electric lights during the Long Night.)
As the boys snuggled into their bags, I read a seasonal poem by the light of the fire ("Old Man Winter" from the Enki Kindergarten Nature Story collection). Then the boys feel asleep. We weren't far behind them, although we cheated and actually went to bed.
5-7 year mission preview, realized
5 years ago