Winter Solstice Community Celebrations in Western MA, 2012

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Winter Solstice Community Celebrations
in Western MA, 2012

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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 upcoming community Winter Solstice events.

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.

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

The Guthrie Center is hosting a Circle of Sound: Global Sound Meditation in honor of the Winter Solstice at 6pm.  Bring a drum, a bowl, or your own voice to join in the making of sound, or just come to meditate on the intentions of peace. 413-644-9288. 2 Van Deusenville Road. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

Celebrate the solstice with students from the Hartsbrook School from 7-9pm.They’ll be performing seasonal music and songs, as well as sharing stories, at Helen Hills Hills. 413-584-3198. 139 South Street. Northampton, MA.

Friday, December 21st, 2011

Watch the sunrise at 7am or sunset at 3:30pm 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. (<$)

The Trustees of Reservations are hosting a winter solstice celebration at Bartholomew’s Cobble from 4-6pm. Visit for a campfire, a look at some of the Mayan prophecies for the supposed solstice end of the world, songs, and hot chocolate (with marshmallows, of course). 413-229-8600. Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Celebrate the winter solstice with Mass Audubon from 6-8:30pm. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary’s solstice tradition is a warm bonfire, paired with hot cider and music. The event is intended to build community, and to welcome the longer, brighter days ahead. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Northfield Mountain celebrates the solstice this year with a hike on the cross-country ski trails from 6-9pm – BYO headlamp to light the way! The trek will be filled with facts and quotes about (and celebrating!) the winter solstice. Registration required. 800-859-2960. Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Ashfield’s community solstice celebration takes place tonight starting at 6:30pm at Elmer’s. Gather around a bonfire on the Town Green at 7pm to share hopes and intentions for the new year, and enjoy storytelling and Morris dancing. Return to Elmer’s for more celebrating, singing and dancing. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 22nd, 2011

Celebrate the solstice at the Magical Roundhouse starting at 6:30pm by sharing stories about holding onto light and love during the darkest part of the year.  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.  Reservations recommended. 413-624-5140.  68 Van Nuys Road.  Colrain, MA.  ($)

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