Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Solstice Day

I like winter solstice because from now on the days get longer again.  My deeds must not be too evil as I hate the darkness.  Today is a special winter solstice coinciding with a total eclipse of the full moon for the first time since 1638.

Celebration of the Winter Solstice or the Roman "Festival of Lights" is far older than our celebration of Christmas and many of the traditions were incorporated into Our Christmas.  Actually, most of our Christmas traditions are borrowed from far older pagan celebrations.

Getafix, the Druid Priest

The Druids celebrated the Solstice and also brought us the mistletoe tradition.  Which brings to mind the famous Druid Priest Getafix.  Ah, yes, Asterix the Gaul, the world's favorite comic book character after perhaps only Mickey Mouse.  A French cartoon drawn by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, Asterix has been translated into more than 100 languages.

Asterix, Obelix and Dogmatix
Set in 50 BC, in a little village in northern France, Asterix, his friend Obelix, the menhir delivery man and the pooch Dogmatix help their chief Vitalstatistix defend this last bastion of Gaulish freedom against the Roman legions from military camps Laudanum and Totorum.  The Gauls depend on a magic potion brewed by Getafix while the legionnaires are urged on by Roman Senators Nefarius Purpus and Christmus Bonus


Other Gaulish characters include the blacksmith Fulliautomatix, the fishmonger Unhygenix and his wife Bacteria, the bard Cacophonix, the Roman spy Doubbleosix and on it goes.  I can't forget the Egyptian Ptennisnet. 

When Number ONE son was about 10 years old, we would borrow Asterix comics from the library and he and I would laugh until the tears rolled down our faces.  One day some years later we found the entire collection at the library used book sale.  Joyful memories forever!!

Happy Winter Solstice Day.


  1. The saddest thing is precisely that libraries are selling off their collections bit by bit, especially community libraries, which means nobody is reading these books any more. If it ain't a movie, it ain't. We may be the last generation to truly love and cherish books, Al!

  2. I doubt it. You should see my kids' libraries. Reading is still pretty popular. The e-book is catching on, though I doubt I will ever use it.

    The comics were pretty worn and needed to be replaced. Whether they did or not, I don't know.

    Libraries are one good use of our tax money in Canada. I only wish they got more of it.


    The library here, thankfully, is going strong - expanding, actually! - and I am so pleased. My kids are learning to love the place as much as I do.

  4. Your librarian daughter will keep her e-book and library rants to herself, but suffice it to say that we are none of us afraid that books are going the way of the dodo bird. Never fear!


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