Winter Solstice – Gnawed Bones. Gnawed Bones is a Yule celebration, though it doesn’t last 12 days as some other Yule celebrations may. It celebrates the survival of winter so far and seeks to ensure survival until spring.
Depending on the Tribe and its territory, winter is very harsh and survival is closely tied to food prep and storage. Because food needs to be carefully planned out to last through winter, feasting usually isn’t associated with this day. Starting now and lasting until the spring equinox, the equivalent of ‘government assistance’ helps Jotuns to stretch their food storage.
The expense of this is considered the trade off for planning and hosting a large event that typically happens with other holy days. Angrboda and the priest for the Family of Fire do a televised Skype conference(esque) ritual featuring the lighting of candles and prayers for fire to return to the world (typically mentioning Sunna and the sun as well).
Those watching often join in the prayers and candle lighting, and that’s often the extent of this holy day. A treat or a nicer meal than usual is hoped for, but many turn to setting out candles and lanterns with shortened versions of the Yule prayers over the next few weeks. Dignitaries, ambassadors, and important People in orchestrating holy days are often involved in politics, treaties, and visiting the Yule celebrations in other Realms around this time of year, so a low key celebration works best for Them as well.
Observing Gnawed Bones:
- Traveling or journeying to the Capital (one of the many designated locations to watch a televised event with others) in order to attend astrally may be possible. It may be possible to attend a televised event and family celebration elsewhere, if you have a relationship with Someone that warrants this inclusion.
- Lighting a candle and saying a prayer for fire to return to the world (addressing Sunna or another member of the Family of Fire).
- Sharing a meal with Someone (whether blood Family, chosen Family, or an Ally in the Realm) in a fashion appropriate for you and Them. This can be a simple meal, or you could opt for some sort of ‘treat’.
- If you interact with Someone married to one of the Vanir or also interact with the Vanir, it could be appropriate to observe Their Yule celebration. Some return to Vanaheim to do this, while Others gather in the Capital for offerings and a small feast (with the rest of 12 days being marked back at Their homes).
- Political relations with the Aesir have changed over time with the Realms working on a beneficial truce, but that doesn’t mean individuals have. You may be able to observe Their Yule celebration; observing here in Midgard may not be an issue, but journeying to Asgard should be planned and arranged ahead of time to avoid problems with being allowed in.
- If feasible for you to do so, sharing food and drink and lighting a candle once a week until the spring equinox can be done.