Today, Dec 21st, is the shortest day of the year. Many believe this makes it the Winter Solstice, but the one is not always the other.
The Solstice is when the Sun rises in its lowest position in the year. This does not always fall on the Shortest Day. In 2015 the Solstice occurs at dawn on the 22nd. That is the morning you want to be in Newgrange or Stonehenge or one of the other great megalithic clocks.
It is funny to read about the 50 people who were disappointed at Newgrange when the clouds obscured the sunrise. They won the annual lottery to attend the event on the 21st. Did they realise they were there on the wrong day?
A Leaf From The Tree of Songs; by Adam Christianson
When harpers once in wooden hall
A shining chord would strike
Their songs like arrows pierced the soul
Of great and low alike
Aglow by hearth and candleflame
From burning branch ot ember
The mist of all their music sang
As if to ask in wonder
Is there a moment quite as keen
Or memory as bright
As light and fire and music sweet
To warm the winter’s night?