Winter Solstice

These old wives' tales about being born on the winter solstice can give you insight into your winter...
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7 Old Wives’ Tales About Babies Born On The Winter Solstice

The harsh winter birthday can lead to a strong, easygoing little babe.

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Traditions, myths, legends; whatever word or term you use to describe wisdom from an era long gone, it's interesting how some ancient stories can still hold significant meaning today. Could it be the excitement and allure of the unknown that gives these mystic beliefs such staying power? Whatever it is, almost nothing is as mysterious or miraculous as giving birth. Regardless of your personal stance on the matter of myths, you might be surprised to find out that there are some particularly peculiar old wives’ tales about babies born on the winter solstice. Whether your little one was delivered many moons ago or your due date is quickly approaching, understanding the cultural significance of having a winter solstice birthday can be quite enlightening.

As Romper previously reported, the winter solstice is the point in time when the earth is tilted farthest away from the sun. It also marks the first day of the astrological winter for the Northern Hemisphere. The date varies a bit each year, but it typically falls between Dec. 21 through Dec. 23. In 2022, the winter solstice happens on Dec. 21 at 4:48 p.m. EST, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, but the longest night. It marks a turning point in the seasons since the nights that follow will grow shorter and shorter until the summer solstice — a day that is basically the exact opposite.This change is a cause for celebration that the harsh winter will end and sunnier days are on the (eventual) horizon. Perhaps it's not a coincidence that old wives’ tales exist about the winter solstice's influence on a baby's birth, since both mark new beginnings.

1

A winter solstice baby is basically a ball of sunshine.

The Earth’s tilt begins the slow return back toward the sun after reaching its furthest endpoint on the winter solstice, so it makes sense that babies born that day are thought to be the catalyst for the sun’s return. Winter solstice celebrations often center on the arrival of lighter days, Bustle previously reported. Is that tiny babe of yours technically a light god or goddess? Perhaps.

This old wives’ tale about winter solstice babies actually has mythological roots. One pagan myth points to the birth of a “young sun” by the Norse Goddess Frigga on the winter solstice, as reported by Seldean Smith for Day Translations. Both the Japanese Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, and the unconquered Sun of Persia, Mithras, were born on winter solstice as well, bringing the “sun” and light with them.

2

Winter solstice babies are self-aware, disciplined, and motivated.

OK, maybe not as actual babies, but with a winter solstice birthday, the person your baby will eventually grow to be could be someone who is driven, motivated, and goal-oriented. Astrologically speaking, winter solstice aligns with the start of Capricorn season. As Romper previously reported, this cardinal Earth sign is known for being especially driven and self-aware. Expect that your winter solstice baby may act like a miniature adult who will thrive when challenged. (As a Capricorn myself, I completely co-sign this.)

3

Babies born on the winter solstice are mischievous.

Is your little one more likely to stir things up if they're a winter solstice baby? In a way, it makes sense that babies born during this specific time might be seen as wild and free as the celebrations that take place on this date of astrological and mythological significance. Giving birth on the winter solstice could be trickier than other days, as Romper previously reported, and that could just be the beginning of a drama-filled existence with your new bundle of joy.

4

Babies born on the winter solstice are strength personified.

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​​Prior to these modern times, winter was a difficult season and many cultures sought to find meaning in those unforgiving conditions. Fred Jennings, one of the owners of occult store Catland Books, told Refinery29 that the Druids viewed the Winter Solstice as a test of endurance and thus anything that survived the harsh night was exceptionally resilient. That's why evergreen plants, symbolic of lasting life, were often used in the ancient Celtic celebrations and rituals.

5

Babies born on the winter solstice are lucky.

It's not surprising that the lunar phases play a role in certain old wives’ tales about babies born during the winter solstice. For instance, the Almanac also stated that December moon, winter Solstice babies are more likely to be lucky and successful in life. Winter solstice also happens to be just a few days away from Christmas, which is pretty lucky when you’re a kid who gets presents twice in one week.

6

Babies born on the winter solstice are easygoing.

The word solstice is derived from two latin terms that translate to “sun” and the phrase, “to stand still,” according to Dictionary.com. So, it actually makes a lot of sense that winter solstice babies are believed to be pretty chill.

Dr. Xenia Gonda, an assistant professor at Semmelweis University in Budapest, published a study in the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology examining scientific evidence that verifies the claims of Eastern European old wives’ tales and folklore. The study stated that, "those born in the winter were significantly less prone to irritable temperament than those born at other times of the year." So, there might actually be some truth to the superstition that winter solstice babies have a more pleasant disposition than others.

7

Babies born on the winter solstice are hardworking.

In ancient Austrian, German, and Swiss mythology, on the winter solstice, the goddess Holle, "checked the quality of each woman's work and offered rewards or punishment," as explained in the second volume of the Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan. From those old stories came the folklore that babies born during winter solstice had the hardworking quality of the goddess Holle. In fact, if your baby is born on winter solstice, a sweet December baby name to consider is Holly — a nod to the goddess and the season of good tidings.

Though it’s an astrological event, the winter solstice can be very spiritual in nature. So even if you aren’t really superstitious (but you are a little bit stitious) these old wives’ tales about having a winter solstice baby are interesting to ponder as your little one grows.

Studies referenced:

Birth Season Affects Your Mood In Later Life. (2014, October 19.) Dr. Xenia Gonda, Semmelweis University in Budapest, European College of Neuropsychopharmacology

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