Happy solstice eve eve!
My ancestors didn't know the precise time of the solstice, so they never had a celebration like the one we host tomorrow night. They're ok with that. It's the growth and expansion of the tradition, and is perfect timing to begin the yearly renewal of our hearth. I'm not getting into a big history lesson tonight (tho I did school someone on facebook today who was going on and on about how Jesus is the reason we exchange presents. False! I politely informed them of their misconception and corrected it with actual facts and moved on...). I'm just going to lay out our homespun ritual:
Rite of the Hearth Fire
(lofty name for a simple ritual!)
We set the logs in the fire place and I dress them with various incense and herbs, a piece of last year's log, and a shot of home made Strega Liqueur.
We call on our deities, our ancestors, the spirits of the land and our Patrons. (Everything said is from the heart. It's not preplanned.)
We have a candle lit from last year's log. I have used it throughout the year to light offering and ritual candles. I use that to light this year's log.
We let that candle burn down while we play music, sing songs, exchange gifts, eat a log cake, play games, toast each other and have fun, literally gathered together at the hearth.
After the candle goes out of its own accord, we light a new candle from the hearth, asking the blessings of the Goddess of the Hearth and for Her divine spark to reside within.
That's the candle we use to light all other candles in the new year.
We continue our merry making until the fire is embers, give our thanks to those who attended and play with our gifties ;)
However you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful time!