A Secular Solstice or Truly “Pagan-ish”?

I saw this sign last Friday at the public library in Pueblo, Colorado, and I liked it for a bunch of reasons.

Sometimes I get tired of the “jolly old elf” and would not mind seeing a more dignified winter monarch(s). For all its other problems, I thought that the Soviet Union’s promotion of (non-religious) “Grandfather Frost” was a pretty good idea. (Here is more about him, with regional variations.)

So has he infiltrated  the public library system? And has the Snow Maiden come along as well?

If she has, I am for it. But then I was the little boy who read Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Snow Queen” and came away thinking that the Snow Queen was in fact admirable, not the villainess from whom the little boy had to be “saved.”

Meanwhile, our Pueblo Winter King can aspire to equal that Sakut “Khan of Winter” (photo at left).

I have not heard how the metro Denver “solstice war” is playing out this year — here was the 2015 version — but this year’s astronomical solstice is at 1628 GMT, so 0928 Mountain Time, Thursday the 21st. Perfect for drumming-up.

 

5 Comments

  1. Pitch313 says:

    I think that calling the Winter Solstice celebration “Winter Solstice” is an effort to include many traditions and to defuse conflicts about which tradition is valid and correct. This secular (or universalistic) effort, of course, becomes controversial among some partisans of their tradition over all others.

    My California upbringing placed Santa Claus (Modern Mythology) firmly at the heart of Christmas celebration. I learned of other Winter figures later, and disdained Christmas as too commercial for some years (cultural Scroogism). I did not embrace Winter Solstice as the holiday until I began to follow the Wheel of the Year as a plan for celebrating as a Pagan.

    I favor public libraries and broadly embracing attempts to commonalties among diverse traditions that recognize, say, astronomical and ecological phenomena.

  2. Erik says:

    Interesting… I could see potential echoes of Grandfather Frost in Pratchett’s “Wintersmith”.

  3. Medeina Ragana says:

    Where’s Krampus?