Although it feels like the real winter temperatures have just hit, the shortest day is already upon us.

Today, Tuesday Dec. 21, will mark the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, and in celebration Brooklyn’s Secret Lantern Society is holding its second annual Winter Lantern Festival and Spiral of Light at Williamsburg’s Domino Park.

Secret Lantern Society says its seasonal celebrations honor the “unique ecological and social landscapes we inhabit.”

“We bring people together to celebrate our shared humanity. Our community gatherings use art, storytelling and ceremony to re-inhabit our communities with intention and beauty.”

The labyrinth at the center of the celebration is open for people to walk through, which the society says is generally considered a metaphor for our own life experiences, “representing a journey into our own center and then back out again into the world.”

The group has posted lantern building tutorials to its website and is encouraging people to bring their own lanterns or whatever light they wish.

The Secret Lantern Society was formed in 2020, inspired by a similar project in Vancouver. Secret Lantern Society member Debra Sheldon told BK Reader the launch was a response to a time when many had suffered from job loss, separation from family and friends and the stress of uncertainty.  

“We felt it was a potent time to honor this and offer a space where people can reflect on the darker days while making a wish for the coming season and year,” she said.

She said the community celebrations were about carrying light in darkness and sharing that light with others. “We invite everyone to come as they are and remain open to whatever magic unfolds.”

The festival will start at 4:30pm on Tuesday, December 21 and will feature musical accompaniment by Kevin Nathaniel. RSVP is required.

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