Saegoah Celebrations: Nox (Winter Solstice)

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December 16, 2013 by Rua Lupa

Nox Festivus! Festive Night!

Nox is a Saegoah celebration of the longest night of Year. So how do you celebrate Nox?

Truthfully it is really up to you in your search for Ehoah (complete harmony within Nature). But here are some things I’ve been doing that can give you some ideas for yourself.

#1 The Nox ‘Tree’

For Nox Eve you select a large prominent plant nearby to decorate with foodstuffs for our non-human neighbours. These can range from strings of cranberries and raisins to seed covered lard  plastered on cone ornaments.

When I found out deer eat for the birds too

This Nox Tree is an Oak

#2 Nocturnal Neighbours

This is a time we could spend getting to better know our winter nocturnal neighbours, with stories or simple games that express their lifestyle, and especially seeing them in person if you can. Ideally your community can arrange for a presentation by handlers to teach you more about them.

#3 Starry Night

This being a time when we are most aware of the night, and its night sky, makes it a time to contemplate how stars are the source of the atoms of the universe, that make up the chemicals on earth, that themselves make up the biology of life including our lives. That our origins come from those stars that came before the ones we see in the night sky gives much reason to celebrate this time of the night sky. So we decorate with stars and don costumes and make up that are themed on the universe, galaxy, night sky, and stars to remember and celebrate that we are star stuff.

Believe it or not they are from a cow caribou

Paper Star between Caribou Antlers

#4 Jingle All The Way

Put jingle bells on your winter coat, ankles, wrists, hat and doors so that we can hear where you when we can’t see you – its dark!

#5 Lights And Mirrors

As mentioned earlier – its dark! So lets bring in a little light by making and decorating with lanterns and mirrors. Mirrors often taking the shape of stars and even seasonal constellations. With the lanterns you can have a friendly competition for the best lantern made. This can also take the form of ice lanterns for the colder regions. There is also the potential of a Best Made Candle competition too. It is encouraged to prevent light pollution by having all outdoor lights be red to preserve the night sky view. You can have a shadow stage set up too where you do silhouette, hand shadow or shadow puppet theatre. Along with that you can play games that revolve around playing with light such as light tag.

Its a mirror with candles

#6 Nox Vigil

Once the horizon crosses the sun’s disc turning toward night, the nox lanterns, candles, and lamps are lit. Once everyone is lit up we walk toward where the gathering place for festivities would be and on our way we sing seasonal songs, mostly focusing on the solstice and this longest of nights.

#7 Fire

At the end of the vigil, if we can, we like to light the Noxfire with a flaming arrow and release sky lanterns to begin the more informal fun part of the night. For the Nox Fire colourants can be thrown on to have an aurora effect.

Crushed in Powder form the following can be used as flame colorants

RED: Celestine

ORANGE: Gypsum, snail shells and eggshells

YELLOW: Baking Soda & Salts (Salts make a bright yellow to orange colour)

BLUE: Copper makes an Aurora looking blue-green

(can produce a variety of colours, each at a different temperature. Copper oxides make an excellent blue)

There can be people who do fire dancing, juggling, and breathing. There can also be flaming arrow competitions and a fire labyrinth.

Like moths to the... well flame

#8 Metallic Music + Ice Tunes if you can

The only reason for the emphasis for metallic is that most other instruments are sensitive to the cold. These are most popularly in the form of bells, but are increasingly including pan/hang drums and xylophones. If you are where you can get some solid ice you can shape your own ice instruments – most commonly as xylophone type instruments.

#9 Fire Gift Giving

At the end of the night each participant brings an unwrapped gift and places it around the Noxfire. You can bring more than one gift. After all participants have done this, each individual can go around a few times to see what is there. After the look around everyone sits around the fire and from youngest to oldest or vice versa, or just in order of where everyone is sitting (counter-clockwise in northern hemisphere, clockwise in southern hemisphere in accordance to the rotation of the earth), each person goes around and picks up one of the items. If there are more items left after everyone has went around once, it can go around again. You can choose to pass your turn to the next person when your turn comes up again. This can go around a few times before all items are picked up or once everyone has had a couple of turns have an “all in” when turns are no longer done and everyone can pick up the item they want without waiting.

#10 Morning Greeting

When dawn is near everyone stands looking to the east horizon. Hand clapping, jingling, stomping and ringing begins at a slow pace, speeding up until cheers break out as the horizon crosses the sun’s disk and songs are sung of the end of the longest night and returning light.

For more detailed information on Nox go here

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