Holiday in the Sun

A brief history lesson, courtesy of the Irish (sort of).

During the reign of the Julian calendar -- until its replacement by the Gregorian calendar in 1582 -- Christmas fell on December 21. These days, the twenty-first represents winter solstice, when the sun is at the lowest point above the horizon and the winter months are ushered in. And the Irish custom of solstice celebration dates all the way back to 3200 B.C. -- which pretty much trumps us all.

For 14 years the Valley’s Irish community has hosted a celebration of the longest night of the year with music, poetry, and presentations. Stories of the peaks and valleys of Irish history follow this year’s outdoor sunset ceremonies, which begin at 5 p.m. A traditional Irish meal and a Ribbon Tree, signifying spiritual unity, round out the cultural affair.

Celebrate the season starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, December 21, at the Irish Cultural Center, 1106 North Central Avenue. Cost is $5 for presentations and an additional $10 for dinner. Reservations are required for dinner. Visit or call 602-258-0109.

Sat., Dec. 21, 4 p.m., 2013
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Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard