How Ancient Cultures Commemorated the Darkest Day

On Dec. 21, the northern hemisphere celebrates the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, or the longest night.

While it’s the darkest time of the year, the day also marks a turning point. From here on out, the the sun shines a little longer each day, and we begin the slow march toward spring. Fittingly, the winter solstice is celebrated by cultures the world over as a day of hope and resilience, and has figured prominently in religious rituals.

For the ancient Romans, the wint

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