Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Holidays: The Winter Solstice’s Influence on Christmas

part 3 of 8 by Glenn Littrell

The Winter Solstice, Solstice’s influence on Christmas
December Solstice Customs: (Dec., 22 this year(2015))

"...In modern times Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas, which falls on December 25. However, it is believed that this date was chosen to offset pagan celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti. Some believe that celebrating the birth of the “true light of the world” was set in synchronization with the December solstice because from that point onwards, the days began to have more daylight in the northern hemisphere..."


December 21, The Winter Solstice:
"...The winter solstice is celebrated by many people around the world as the beginning of the return of the sun, and darkness turning into light. The Talmud recognizes the winter solstice as "Tekufat Tevet." In China, the "Dongzhi" Festival is celebrated on the Winter Solstice by families getting together and eating special festive food. ..."
Tekufot (Hebrew: תקופות, singular: tekufa) are the four seasons of the year recognized by Talmud writers. The four tekufot are:

Tekufat Nisan, the vernal equinox (March 21), when the sun enters Aries; this is the beginning of spring, or "eit hazera" (seed-time), when day and night are equal.
Tekufat Tammuz, the summer solstice (June 21), when the sun enters Cancer; this is the summer season, or "et ha-katsir" (harvest-time), when the day is the longest in the year.
Tekufat Tishrei, the autumnal equinox (Sept. 23), when the sun enters Libra, and autumn, or "et ha-batsir" (vintage-time), begins, and when the day again equals the night.
Tekufat Tevet, the winter solstice (Dec. 22), when the sun enters Capricornus; this is the beginning of winter, or "et ha-ḥoref" (winter-time),[1] when the night is the longest during the year.

Each tekufa, according to Samuel Yarḥinai, marks the beginning of a period of 91 days and 7½ hours. It will be noticed that the tekufot fall from fourteen to eighteen days later than the true solar equinox or solstice; this, however, does not interfere with the calendar, which follows the figures of R. Ada.

The Dōngzhì Festival or Winter Solstice Festival
(Chinese: 冬至; pinyin: Dōngzhì; literally "the Arrival of Winter") is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asians during the Dongzhi solar term (winter solstice) on or around December 22, when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest. 
This festival's origins can be traced back to the yin and yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos. After this celebration, there will be days with longer daylight hours and an increase in positive energy flowing in. The philosophical significance of this is symbolized by the I Ching hexagram fù (復, "Returning").

December 21, Yule, Yule Festival, Yuletide:
In pre-Christian Scandinavia, the Feast of Juul, or Yule, lasted for 12 days celebrating the sun god's rebirth and giving rise to the custom of burning a Yule log. (Hence the twelve Days of Christmas ?)

Dec 22. A day to celebrate the popular Japanese poetry form called haiku.
Public libraries, literary groups, school libraries, etc., can observe the day with haiku readings, artwork, and other events. Haiku are traditionally about the seasons, so this day is celebrated annually on the winter solstice.

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