December 22nd 2015 04.48 GMT is the Winter Solstice. This is the time when the darkness is at its greatest and the light at its shortest.
Although the Winter Solstice is the longest darkness and shortest light, it is not a celebration of darkness, but a celebration of the coming of the light. It is the start of the time of year where the light begins to overcome the darkness, gradually getting greater and greater and seeing and remembering that the darkness cannot overcome the light.
The Winter Solstice is one of the main celebrations of the Celtic wheel of the year. It fits in well with the Christian celebration of Christmas where Jesus, the Light of the world, appeared, and, put in the words of John the Apostle:
A prayer for the Winter Solstice:
Warmth of all warmth,
Comforter of all comfort,
Be with me this day,
that I would share your warmth with others
and be to the other that which you are to me.
Let not the darkness overcome us,
but let the Light shine from within to illumine that which is dark.
As the darkness stretches its long hand over us,
let your Light shine from within your people,
that we would be left not in darkness,
but in the hope of the coming Light.
be my guide and hold me fast in the darkness,
that I may be the fire on a hilltop in the darkness.
Burn within me, now and ever more.
Adapted from a post by David Cole.