IMA Throws FREE Winter Solstice Celebration

Celebrate the real reason for the season on Thursday at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The IMA is hosting a free Winter Solstice Celebration on Thursday, December 17, 2009 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Lilly House and in the Greenhouse parking lot. Though their party is a bit early (a full four days before the actual Winter Solstice) the celebration is still very festive and totally free, which makes up for it being early right?

The Winter Solstice is a celebration of the longest day of the year. It occurs when the earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. It happens in a single instant, yet the entire day marks a celebration that dates back to early man. The transition from the nights growing longer and the days growing shorter to the nights growing shorter and days growing longer is a real reason to celebrate, and the first step to the warm days of Spring and Summer. It occurs each year between December 20 and December 22.

Winter Solstice celebrations held a much larger significance in society than it does today. In modern times, Winter Solstice celebrations have been replaced with celebrations of religious holidays that conveniently happen within weeks of the Winter Solstice each year.Yet the day remains a puzzle piece to understanding the history of man. The Winter Solstice has even been used to help explain part of the mystery of Stonehenge, as the sculpture seems to be aligned with the winter solstice sunset.

The Winter Solstice used to be immensely important for communities that often suffered through starvation from January to April (also known as the famine months). Prior to the Winter Solstice celebration, the remaining cattle were slaughtered so they would not have be fed during Winter, making it the last time for months that fresh meat was available. In addition, the last reserves of beer and wine had fermented just before the Winter Solstice. The day marked the last big feast celebration before a community would buckle down to endure a harsh winter.

Luckily we have grocery stores that provide us with sustenance and liquor all through the year. Nonetheless, this very important celebration connects us to our ancestors long since gone. So head to the Indianapolis Museum of Art on Thursday evening for a spectacular Winter Solstice Celebration. Enjoy ice carvers and bonfires (though not next to each other, eep!). Wintry animals and art making will also be on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art Gardens.

Warm up in the Lilly House with live Indianapolis music by harpist Jan Aldridge Clark. Classical guitarist Samuel Lawson will put a medieval spin on things in the Greenhouse. Check him out as your peruse the great Indianapolis shopping in the IMA’s Greenhouse (everything is 50% off!). So whether you are a pagan, nature lover, or descendant of anyone who at one time celebrated the Winter Solstice before starving to death, check out the Winter Solstice Celebration at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. For more information about the Winter Solstice Celebration, visit the IMA’s official website. Remember this Indianapolis event is FREE and open to all Indianapolis people.

Winter Solstice Celebration
Thursday, December 17, 2009
6:30 to 8:30 pm

Indianapolis Museum of Art
4000 Michigan Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46208

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