The winter solstice has long held deep significance for cultures dating back to as far as the Neolithic period. Some of civilisation's oldest monuments, from Stonehenge to Newgrange, are carefully aligned on sight lines pointing toward the winter solstice sunrise and sunset. And it's no surprise for the day marked the middle of winter, giving early man a crucial indicator – a signpost that guided food consumption for the remaining winter months – but on an even deeper level, the winter solstice signified for ancient pagan peoples the beginning of a rebirth, marking the resurrection of a beloved sun god and the gradual reawakening of nature.
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