Our Household’s Festivities For Borealis Nox – Longest Night

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Dec 22, 2020 by Rua Lupa

This was our 1st year home for the Winter Holidays in 13 years and so was able to be more involved for Borealis Nox – Winter Solstice / Longest Night for the Northern Hemisphere.

The minimum we do every year is decorating a Nox Tree – a tree outside decorated with wildlife food stuffs, being a way of acknowledging our non-human neighbours in our shared experience. We have a tradition of getting oranges to make half cut orange seed cups out of them and hanging from red wool yarn. We finally have a ladder so we were able to hang the seed cups outside the reach of deer.

Our Nox Tree decorated with Half Orange Seed Cups Hanging from Red Wool Yarn
Our Nox Tree with a Yuki Daruma
No. 22, Snow in Front of the Official Storehouses (Onkura mae no yuki), from the series Comical Views of Famous Places in Edo (Edo meisho dôke zukushi). Dog stealing a workman’s meal from a snow Daruma from the woodblock series Edo meisho dôke zukushi (Joyful Events in Famous Places in Edo) by Hirokage

This is our 2nd year making a Yuki-Daruma – a Japanese style Snowman, literally ‘Snow’ ‘Bodhidharma’, the founder of the Zen tradition of Buddhism. Though the result this year is more of a fusion. We enjoy this form to place apples on the lap for our non-human neighbours to enjoy, especially the deer. This year we have the Yukidaruma wearing a mask, with apple slices on their lap arranged in a Solstice themed pattern.

Our Yuki Daruma with Apple Slices Laid Out In A Solstice Theme

Behind the Nox Tree we have a fire pit set up to heat some mulled wine and lay a wool blanket where we will open some presents by the fire.

For dinner we had a grouse that had died on impact with our window this past February. It was brined, then given an olive oil and spice rub of Chili, Ginger, Cumin, and Paprika (the leftovers being drizzled over the whole later); It was then wrapped in some of my bonsai lemon leaves, placed in a bed of rice, sprinkled with sunflower seeds, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. Then baked in a Dutch oven at 350°F for 35 minutes.

Grouse wrapped in Lemon Leaves in a bed or rice sprinkled with seeds
Grouse with the lemon leaves removed

Following dinner we went back outside and started the fire to enjoy and make our Mulled Wine / Spiced Wine in our three legged pottery cooking pot in the coals. It is made with a cheap red wine with a cloth sac filled with cinnamon sticks, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg soaking inside like a tea bag.

Our Pottery Mugs and a Sandstone Candle Holder on Tray ready for some Mulled Wine
As the fire brightened I noticed the moon through the clouds
The 3 Legged Pottery Pot with the Wine and Spices being heated by the fire

As the 3 legged cooking pot of wine and spices was heating we opened a present. I am excited to delve deeper into illumination and calligraphy with these new fancy tools!

A Lovely Gift by the Fireside

Joyous Winter Solstice!

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