Cooperative Dinner & Winter Solstice Celebration
Saturday, December 21
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
**RSVP required** Scroll down for RSVP form.
Join us for a night of food and song! History and science! Revelry and awe!
If you’re curious about the origins of this celebration, scroll to the bottom to read about Raymond Arnold.
You can preview the songs we’ll be playing (and hopefully singing, too!) below the RSVP form.
The RSVP form asks what you’d like to contribute to dinner. We’re aiming for several pots of soup or chili, cooked grains, salad, and bread, at least. And desserts. 🙂 This will be a plant-based meal. Please let your food contribution be free of meat/dairy/eggs.
Families with young children, we want you to come!! Please note: While Part 1 of the after-dinner program will be little-kid-friendly, Part 2 not so much. An extended Intermission is planned, which will be a comfortable time to leave if you don’t stay for Part 2.
UUGSB is wheelchair-accessible, and is committed to eliminating other barriers to participation as well. If there are accommodations we can make for you, for this event or for future events, we want to know.
The food & enthusiasm you’ll bring is your admission fee. (Free-will donations of any amount to help pay for the heat will also be gratefully accepted.)
Questions? Comments? Call 631-589-5209 or email email@example.com.
The program’s songlist has some popular tunes you may know, as well as new ones. If you want to sing along more easily, listen to the unfamiliar ones at least once before 12/21.
Program Pt 1:
Why Does the Sun Shine? (paleolithic lyrics)
Why Does the Sun Shine? (“gas” version)
Why Does the Sun Really Shine? (“plasma” version)
Program Pt 2:
Raymond Arnold, originator of Secular Solstice, explains the meaning of the holiday for him:
– – –
Like most things, winter was once a mystery.
The world got cold, and dark. Life became fragile. People died. And they didn’t understand what was happening, or why. They desperately threw festivals in honor of sun gods with all-too-human motivations, and prayed for the light’s return.
It didn’t help. Though we did discover that throwing parties in the middle of winter is an excellent idea.
But then something incredible and beautiful happened. We studied the sky. We invented astronomy, and other sciences. We began a long journey towards truly understanding our place in the universe. And we used that knowledge to plan for the future, and make our world better.
Five thousand years later, the winter isn’t so scary. But the symbol of the solstice – the departure and return of the sun – is still powerful. The work we have done to transform winter from a terrifying season of darkness into a modern festival of light deserves a reverence with all the weight of an ancient cultural cornerstone.
– – –
In 2011, he invited friends to his place for a holiday gathering. They ate together, sang songs, lit candles, and blew them out while telling stories about why the universe is the way it is, and about humanity’s progress and aspirations. Since then, Ray has recorded songs, launched a website, and inspired others to host their own celebrations.