These days it is clearly nothing nearly as dramatic as that, because science has taught us that the Mid-winter Solstice simply symbolizes the least amount of daylight hours, or the darkest days of the year. The sun never really gets very high in the sky at this time of the year, so the dawn occurs much later and the sunsets much earlier, making things seem very dreary indeed. On the upside, once we are past the darkest days we have much to look forward to. Days will now begin to get longer, the earth will start to awaken from it's Autumn and Winter slumbering and slowly, day by day we will move towards the warmer and brighter moments of Spring.
Every year Helen and I get together to celebrate this turning of the season, it has become somewhat of a tradition for us. This year we made a variety of homemade soups and a butterscotch pudding to enjoy by the light of many candles with a few generous libations of good wine. There is nothing like the comfort of home, a good friend, a loving family, some homemade comfort food, tasty wine and a cosy environment to push back the darkness and to keep you heading forward towards brighter days. For that I am truly blessed, because without these comforts in my life right now, this Mid-Winter Solstice would have swallowed me whole.
Release Date: 2001
Running Time: 125 mins
Hayao Miyazaki brings to life all of magic and intrigue of another world in this visually pleasing animation movie. If you are looking for PIXAR then don't look here, this is a delicate body of work with a whimsical soundtrack that enhances the refined animation style.
The film follows the adventures of 10 year old Chihiro as she delves into a fantasy world full of spirits, she's on a quest to save her parents who have been turned into pigs by the evil witch Yubaba. She encounters many weird and wonderful characters through her employment at the spirit bath house and must call on her inner courage and bravery, to overcome the many challenges that stand between her reunification with her parents.
It is an intelligent piece of children's cinema and perplexing even to some adults, a worthy watch.
FINAL SAY: You'll be spirited away.
4.5 Chilli Peppers