When was the first Winter Solstice Celebration/Festival

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  • #12812
    tony1kenobi
    Participant

    Read an interesting article in Unherd today about the pagan, or not, origins of Christmas. I got to wondering when (approx) the first Winter Solstice was celebrated and if there are any documented references to it. Does anyone have any info/comments on this topic?

    #12813
    Dave TheDruid-3X3
    Participant

    About 4.8 Billion Years Ago when the Earth first came into becoming a Planet going around the Sun.

    3X3

    #12815
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    About 4.8 Billion Years Ago when the Earth first came into becoming a Planet going around the Sun.

    I don’t think anyone was around to celebrate then. 🙂

    It’s difficult to say when, but I’d hazard a guess that when the first agricultural communities emerged, those communities started to mark the seasons as it was fundamental to know when to sow and reap and so on. I may be wrong on this, but I believe that the great megaliths and henges found in Britain and Ireland coincide with the arrival of agriculture – more or less. So, perhaps we’re not far off the mark with saying that solstice celebrations began with agriculture. Maybe?

    Bennathow
    /|\

    #12818
    david poole
    Participant

    I have heard this argument too, about stone circles connecting with agriculture. I think this may be true as agriculture is connected with the seasons therefore our ancestors would have had to have known the movements of the sun and the stars and time in order to know when to plant. Stone circles would have given them more precise control over this.

    #12821
    tony1kenobi
    Participant

    I would like to think it was 2.8 billion years ago 🙂

    It’s difficult to say when, but I’d hazard a guess that when the first agricultural communities emerged, those communities started to mark the seasons as it was fundamental to know when to sow and reap and so on. I may be wrong on this, but I believe that the great megaliths and henges found in Britain and Ireland coincide with the arrival of agriculture – more or less. So, perhaps we’re not far off the mark with saying that solstice celebrations began with agriculture. Maybe?

    I have heard this argument too, about stone circles connecting with agriculture. I think this may be true as agriculture is connected with the seasons therefore our ancestors would have had to have known the movements of the sun and the stars and time in order to know when to plant. Stone circles would have given them more precise control over this.

    That makes good sense and logic to me. Thanks for the answers.

    #12822
    tony1kenobi
    Participant

    Found a reference to some research on standing stones in Britain:

    University of Adelaide research has for the first time statistically proven that the earliest standing stone monuments of Britain, the great circles, were constructed specifically in line with the movements of the Sun and Moon, 5000 years ago.

    Examining the oldest great stone circles built in Scotland (Callanish, on the Isle of Lewis, and Stenness, Isle of Orkney ─ both predating Stonehenge’s standing stones by about 500 years), the researchers found a great concentration of alignments towards the Sun and Moon at different times of their cycles. And 2000 years later in Scotland, much simpler monuments were still being built that had at least one of the same astronomical alignments found at the great circles.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by tony1kenobi.
    #12828
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    Something to add might be that the henges and megaliths etc., seem always to be near the coast: is this because the agriculturalists arrived by sea or could tidal calculations also have been important to them?

    Going back further, there is some evidence that cave paintings may have had some astrological meaning and perhaps, in that case, they were connected to hunting cycles and seasons.

    Whatever the case, I think people have been keeping calendars of some sort for a very long time indeed.

    Benathow,
    /|\

    #12829
    david poole
    Participant

    @dowrgi That statement is not exactly true; henges and megaliths crop up in all kinds of places, many nowhere near the coastline. The connection which you suggest may not necessarily be there.

    #12831
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    Coastal as in not distant from the sea and reachable by water. If you look at a map of Wesrern Europe and North Africa, it’s quite striking.

    A glance at a map of megalithic Europe shows us a network of areas containing a concentration of stone monuments extending through Tunisia, Morocco, Iberia, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, south-west Sweden, Ireland, Wales, southwest and northern England, west and north Scotland. These are all coastal areas. The Ocean is the linking factor. In addition, there are pockets on the Mediterranean islands as well as along the shore of the Eastern Mediterranean and of the Black Sea.

    Desmond Johnston, Aspects of the Megalithic Era, at:https://www.newgrange.com/megalithic.htm

    Bennathow
    /|\

    #12834
    david poole
    Participant

    Thank you Dowrgi, I may look into that. I wonder whether stone circle are connected by ley lines or earth currents, like a network?

    #12867
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    What fascinates me about these circles is the knowledge of mathematics, especially geometry, that our stone-age, supposedly pre-literate ancestors must have had to construct what they did. How was that knowledge attained and how was it passed down through generations, over hundreds of years?

    Bennathow
    /|\

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