Stones of Stonehenge at sunset with a ray of sunlight

The best places to experience
winter and summer solstice

Winter solstice is one of the most awaited events of the year. Throughout the year, this date has tons of meaning for cultures worldwide that celebrate it. The winter solstice is related to unique traditions all around the world.
During this time the antique Mayan culture used the date to celebrate the arrival of the sun at its highest point. This phenomenon is known as the “still sun” and has its own astronomical significance. ELife knows how important it is to arrive anywhere with the best car transfer service!
We want to share the best places to spend the winter solstice with you. Besides that, we will also tell you about the summer solstice that happens on the Southern Hemisphere, along with the best locations to celebrate it. Book your airport transfer in advance with us!

What is the winter solstice?

Traditionally speaking, the summer and winter solstices help mark the changing of the seasons in conjunction with the autumn and spring equinoxes. In Mayan culture, December 21 has a unique meaning that not many cultures share.
While the winter solstice marks the shortest days on one side of the world, the summer solstice announces the beginning of the warmer months and much longer days. Did you know that during this time we see very noticeable changes in nature?
In the case of the old residents of the Mayan metropolis, historians theorized that it was a time of great importance, as this season allowed the land to rest for the next agricultural cycle. And even when this was a long time ago, its symbolism is still present today.

Beautiful snow covered forest

Rituals and beliefs of the winter solstice

The winter solstice plays a very important role in cultures around the world, from ancient times to the present day. Since antique times, the importance of the sun for life has been talked about, and even its existence since before.
That is why in almost all of the cultures around the world there have been great cults around the stars. For example, in Christianity many festivities are directly related to the solar or lunar calendar . To name one holiday, Christmas commemorates the Undefeated Sun celebration did you know that?
ELife knows the importance of discovering the world. That's why we offer the best cars for enjoying unique transfer experiences around the world. If you want to discover the best places this winter solstice, don't forget to book your transportation in advance.

Mayan pyramids under a beautiful blue sky

The winter solstice in the Mayan culture

The Mayans were skillful architects and designers, that's why the cities of the Mayan world were built for more than just aesthetics, it also had to do with the orientation and shape of their main structures, playing with light and shadow.
In this way, they could know precisely the temporal location on the calendar. This is the case of the Pyramid of Kukulcan, which was discovered in the twentieth century along with other Mayan archaeological sites, helping them to know the precise day of the solstices and equinoxes during the year.
Isn't it incredible the meaning that this celebration had in the past for our ancestors? If you want to visit the Pyramid of Kukulcan, remember that ELife can take you there with its taxi hailing service. Available 24/7!

Mount Fuji covered in snow in Japan

The winter solstice in the Japanese culture

Amaterasu is the Japanese sun goddess. She is the daughter of the creator goddesses Izanagi and Izanami and is the center of the Shinto religion. The significance of the sun goddess to the Japanese is immense since she is considered a pillar for the sun to spread its blessings over the new earth.
Amaterasu is the embodiment of the "rising sun" and is a symbol of the Japanese flag. Its significance is not only that it illuminates all things, but also provides food for all living creatures and marks the movement from day to night.
The beginning of winter is celebrated with a requiem or liturgical celebration for the dead to please Amaterasu. Every December 22, bonfires are lighted on Mount Fuji to encourage the return of the sun.
Awesome, right? Remember that ELife offers ground transportation from Narita International Airport to Tokyo for only 161 USD! Also, you can enjoy the Winter Solstice Festival!

Santa Claus in his sleigh in the snow with deers

Finland, Sweden and Norway in winter solstice

Yule holidays are celebrated in the Scandinavian countries such as Finland, Sweden, and Norway. The winter solstice on that side of the world marks the end of darkness and announces the arrival of light on December 21. For these cultures the winter solstice signified the triumph of life over death.
This was a time of celebration for families and warriors, who gathered at the fire to celebrate that they were alive and remember those who passed away along the year. A curious fact is that the first inhabitants performed sacrificial rituals in tribute to Beiwe, the goddess of the sun.
White female deer are usually sacrificed with the only purpose of making the goddess return to the world of the living. This festivity gave origin to what is known as Christmas. In fact, the Finnish legend of the Joulupukki, transformed in what we now know as Santa Claus.
Visit the Lapland region so you can enjoy the northern lights and the beautiful festivities of winter solstice! We'll see you next time, traveler.