Winter Solstice Traditions Celebrated at Global Village Museum

By Leisa Taylor Director of Communications & Outreach November 27, 2023

For centuries, cultures across the world have commemorated the 

winter solstice with unique festivals and rituals. 

Fire and light as well as the symbolic death and rebirth of the sun are common threads in these traditions.

To celebrate these customs, Fire and Light: Winter Solstice Traditions opens Friday, December 1, at the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures with free admission from 5-8 pm. The Museum has invited representatives from religious and spiritual organizations to create displays of objects and information that showcase their beliefs.

“The goal of the exhibit is to expand our worldview of global holidays and traditions that are celebrated here in Fort Collins,” said curator Sophi Wulff, the Museum’s Administrative Assistant. “The rich cultural diversity of our city provides a great opportunity to explore the ways in which the solstice is acknowledged and observed locally.” For the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice will occur on December 21, 2023, the first day of winter. The earth’s axis is tilted farthest away from the sun, resulting in the shortest day and longest night of the year.

In conjunction with the exhibit, Winter Solstice Traditions and the Scandinavian Christmas will be presented from 6-7:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 14, by Kristina Feste-Hanson, co-director of the Scandinavian Alliance of Colorado. The program will explore the connections between Nordic mythology and Scandinavian folk traditions and their adaptation and influence into Christmas practices. Attendees will gather in a circle around the Christmas tree amongst the Northern Lights as Feste-Hanson highlights how Scandinavian Christmas traditions derive their meaning from the Viking/Pre-Christian and folk celebrations of the winter solstice. Traditional Scandinavian Christmas baked goods and drink will be served, and participants will experience hands-on Scandinavian crafts and a mini Saint Lucia celebration. Tickets to the program are $5/person, and reservations are requested at

The exhibit runs through Jan. 20, 2024. The Global Village Museum is located at 200 West Mountain Avenue, and Museum hours are 11 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Regular admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, $1 for ages 4-15, and free for children three and under. Adult tours receive discounted admission of $3/person. For more information and closure dates during the change of exhibits, visit or call 970-221-4600.