At this time of year, when the light fades early and the world shifts from green to gold, cinnamon and fiery red, our old human fears of the approaching period darkness return.
From midwinter feasting at Neolithic British sites like Durrington Walls, to the Haloa of Ancient Greece and the Norse Yule celebration, humans have always needed a reminder during the depths of winter of light, community and the promise of good things to come.
We humans, love to eat and we love to celebrate with food, from weddings to birthdays to a Sunday family lunch. Whilst our customs might be different, all around the world we celebrate new beginnings, whether that is a new year, a new marriage or a new baby. And while the food we serve to celebrate new beginnings may be slightly different in our own corner of the globe, there seems to be a universal theme in the type of food we eat. We celebrate the new with circular-shaped food.
The Auroras, as we know today, are dependent on the interactions of the sun and our upper atmosphere, and have thus appeared since before history began to be recorded. And it appears that each age of history has had their own ideas about what caused the Auroras, what they consisted of, and what they signified.
New Year’s festivity dates back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon, connecting religion and mythology. In ancient Babylon, the new moon following the vernal equinox, when, in late, March an equal amount of sunlight and darkness are present, marked the New Year. The vernal equinox represented the rebirth of the natural world.