Behold the winter solstice is coming upon us. Sounds eerie, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t need to be. It actually means that it marks the longest time of the year on Dec. 21. It happens when the sun stops moving south and then pauses to track northward. Going forward the days will be longer and the nights will be shorter. The winter is known to be dark, cold and sometimes cruel. Many think that December is only about Christmas trees, Santa Claus and gifts, but there is so much more. People plan many festivities around this time for parties, for dances and for feasts. There is the Feast of Juul, Christmas, Saturnalia in Rome, the festival of Chaomos in Pakistan and the celebration of Saint Thomas in Guatemala, which are all celebrated around the winter solstice. Allow these 5 traditions observed around the winter solstice to change your perception.