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Winter Solstice

Experience ASI / Festivals / Winter Solstice

Celebrate the Longest Night of the Year

Mark the shortest day and longest night of the year at ASI with ASI’s popular Winter Solstice Celebration. Since pagan days, solstice has traditionally meant the “year as reborn,” with ancient (and modern) Scandinavians fusing it into the longer “Jul” or Yule season. ASI celebrates this powerful seasonal juncture with fun, festivity, and performance.

Minnesota artist activity is made possible by voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Early Scandinavians celebrated the winter solstice as a means of worshiping the reawakening of nature and other supernatural beings in the winter sky. This time became known as a twelve-day “midwinter” holiday called Yule. In English, the word Yule is often used to describe the entire holiday season; but in modern Scandinavia, a cognate of Yule denotes Christmas (Christmas in Swedish is Jul).  

The American Swedish Institute’s Winter Solstice Celebration is fun for all ages! Event staples and past activities include:

  • Bonfires
  • Live reindeer
  • Shadow play station
  • Dance performances
  • Swedish carols
  • Family crafts
  • Glögg, Swedish mulled wine, from FIKA