Winter Solstice Community Celebrations in Western MA, 2011

Winter Solstice Community Celebrations
in Western MA, 2011

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Communities in Western MA gather this time of year to celebrate the longest night and the shortest day, welcoming the return of the light. Many celebrations consist of bonfire, storytelling, sharing of community intentions and singing. Below are a list of community Winter Solstice events beginning this weekend.

If you enjoy storytelling at home, check out Cheli’s list of recommended children’s picture books for stories on the many of the holiday traditions.

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

1-2:45pm – SOLSTICE STORIES & SONGS: Season of Light storytelling and songs from many tradition will be share at Owl and Raven by Joshua Gannon-Salomon. BYO mug for homemade hot cocoa! 413-341-6494. 2 Conz Street. Northampton, MA (>$)

6:30pm – SOLSTICE STORYTELLING: Celebrate the solstice at the Magical Roundhouse.  Celebrate the season by sharing stories about holding onto light and love during the darkest part of the year.  This is a community event, and is also pat of Colrain’s 250th birthday celebrations- stories about the community in Colrain will be featured!  This event is a way to introduce your family to solstice celebrations and a way to foster togetherness within the community.  Bring a snack to share and something to donate to the Franklin Area Survival Center.  413-625-5140.  68 Van Nuys Road.  Colrain, MA.  ($)

4-6pm – SOLSTICE FIRE & STORIES: Welcome the longest night of the year tonight at Bartholomew’s Cobble!  There will be a campfire accompanied by stories, songs, marshmallows, and hot chocolate.  413-229-8600. Sheffield, MA (<$)

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

6-8:30pm – SOLSTICE FIRE & SONG: Celebrate the solstice with a bonfire and music!  Aracadia Wildlife Sanctuary hosts a solstice celebration for families tonight- bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.  413-584-3009.  127 Coombs Road.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) 

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

7am and 3pm – SOLSTICE SUNWHEEL: Watch the sunrise or sunset at the UMass Sunwheel.  There will be a presentation on the significance of the solstices and equinoxes, phases of the moon, and other sunwheels around the world.  Learn about the cultural significance of the solstice worldwide!  Rocky Hill Road.  Amherst, MA.  (<$) 

5-8pm – SOLSTICE STORIES & SONGS: Celebrate the winter solstice at a community event on the Shutesbury town common.  Bring your own light source to light up the circle, and share stories and songs.  Town Common Road.  Shutebury, MA.  (FREE)

6-9pm – SOLSTICE HIKE: Hike with a headlamp tonight at Northfield Mountain!  Celebrate the solstice by enjoying nature- especially the stars and moon.  Ages 12+, registration requested..  800-859-2960.  99 Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE) 

6pm – SOLSTICE FIRE & STORYTELLING: Bonfire lights the common as town residents gather to share their “community intentions” for the New Year. Storytelling and Morris folk dancing too, and gathering at Elmer’s follow. Main Street. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

7-9pm – SOLSTICE PAGENT: Celebrate the solstice with students from the Hartsbrook School!  They’ll be performing seasonal music and songs, as well as sharing stories, at the Northampton Center for the Arts.  413-584-7327.  17 New South Street.  Northampton, MA.  

2 Comments on “Winter Solstice Community Celebrations in Western MA, 2011

  1. Venue change for Solstice Pagent on 12/22 – Will take place at the Helen Hills Hills Chapel.

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