Friday, December 21, 2012

Mongolia | Zaisan Tolgoi | Winter Solstice | First of the Nine Nines | Nermel Arkhi Khöldönö

The Winter Solstice occurs today, December 21, at 7:12 PM (Ulaanbaatar Time), marking the Beginning Of Winter.

Yesterday, December 20, the sun rose at 8:39 AM and set at 5:02 PM for a day of 8 hours, 22 minutes, and 59 seconds. 

Today, the day of the Solstice, the sun rises at 8:39 AM and sets at 5:02 for a day of 8 hours, 22 minutes and 55 seconds, or four seconds shorter than the day before.

Tomorrow, December 22, the day after the Solstice, the sun will rise at 8:40 PM and set at 5:03 PM for a day of 8 hours, 22 minutes, and 56 seconds, one second longer than the previous day. So the days will be getting longer . . . 

In Mongolia the Winter Solstice also marks the beginning of the so-called Nine-Nines: nine periods of nine days each, each period marked by some description of winter weather. The first of the nine nine-day periods is Nermel Arkhi Khöldönö, the time when once-distilled homemade Mongolian arkhi (vodka) freezes. It was minus 35º F. at 9:30 a.m., cold enough, I think, to freeze Mongolian moonshine, which is not as strong as the store-bought vodka. The Second Nine-Day Period starts on December 30. Stayed tuned for updates.

As you all know, Venus has been dominating the dawn skies for the last couple weeks, but this morning also offers an excellent opportunity to see the elusive plant Mercury. Pull on your mukluks and get out there! You do not want to miss this!
As usual, Neo-Druids and others are whooping it up at Stonehenge, the granddaddy of all Solstice Celebration sites. 
Neo-Druids at Stonehenge
 Neo-Druids at Stonehenge
Neo-Druids at Stonehenge
See More Stonehenge Photos (click on photo for enlargement)
Winter Solstice Offering

8 comments:

  1. Now, if that was a German fruit cake (obsttorte), that would be a real sacrificial offering. Surely the gods and goddesses would know what is a real sacrifice and what isn't, Don.

    Nice sky map, too.

    Wishing you an enjoyable (as much as they can be) Nine-Nines!

    - a mes

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  2. You can't see that this one has been marinated in Kentucky Bourbon since Thanksgiving. It's suitable, for an offering, a doorstop, or a gift for a friend who dallies in the likkers of life. Merry Solstice, y'all.

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  3. I think the Druids go with Irish Whiskey.

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  4. Why not offer up the alcohol, instead? If I was a goddess, that would be the preferred offering. : )

    -a mes

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  5. “If I was a goddess” . . . ? I thought you were an Assyrian goddess. Have you been misleading me all this time?

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  6. Sumerian goddess, actually. : ) Thanks, Don. : )

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  7. Dang, I always get the Assyrians and the Sumerians mixed up!

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  8. Hey, I'll take what I can get, Don. : )

    Hope you are staying warm!

    -a mes

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