If you are looking to experience something special in the dark days before Christmas, be sure to go to Bad Nieuweschans on Saturday 19 or Sunday 20 December when a Celtic Midwinter festival is held: the Winter Solstice. This event has been held in Europe ever since prehistoric times.
For thousands of years, the Winter Solstice is celebrated by many cultures throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Midwinter is known under various names, such as Winter Solstice, Joel, Yule Tide and Saturnalia. Between 20 and 22 December, the sun will reach its lowest position on the Northern Hemisphere. According to Celtic tradition, in this night the Goddess gives life to the light and the sun returns.
It is customary to light huge fires at Yule in order to celebrate the return of the light. After Yule, the days become longer and the nights shorter – right up until the time when the Celtic Midsummer Festival is celebrated on 3 and 4 July!
The Celtic midwinter celebration of Yule takes place in and around the De Oude Remise in Bad Nieuweschans. Celtic Folk Band Rapalje and other musicians play high-spirited music and heavy winter fare is served combined with warming drinks. There is a Celtic goods market where you can set yourself up in new clothes or buy great gifts. In a Celtic settlement, see how Celts and Germans lived in the Iron Age. Learn archery and enjoy the fire, literally as well as figuratively!