Letters to the Editor: 'Rebirth of light must remind us to think of those in need'
Saturday's winter solstice is the day of least daylight in the calendar year. Astronomers maintain it marks the end of autumn and the beginning of winter. In meteorology, winter begins earlier, spanning December, January and February. The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is that daylight gradually increases until the summer solstice in June.
Although winter is the dormant season of darkness and cold, the winter solstice marks the “turning of the sun” and the days getting longer. Celebrations of returning light are common in history with festivals and holidays around the time of the winter solstice. Many pagan societies held a 12-day festival at winter solstice to celebrate the rebirth of the sun god. Fires were lit to symbolise the heat, light and life-giving properties of the returning sun.
Nowadays, Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas Day. We decorate our homes and neighbourhoods with lights and stars to welcome the birth of the “true light of the world”.
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Similar to the old 12-day pagan festivals celebrating the rebirth of the sun god at winter solstice, Christians celebrate the “12 days of Christmas” to welcome the birth of Christ.
The rebirth of light will brighten the way for people of all religions and none this festive season. The light will shine brighter if those of us who have more than enough share a little with the needy, especially as over 3,500 homeless children are without an address to put on their letters to Santa.
Tralee, Co Kerry
It’s time for Article 41.2 vote as men also deserve equality
I read in the Irish Independent (December 17) about gender imbalance and why Christmas is still ‘women’s work’.
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and ESRI survey, which concluded women spend twice as much time on housework and the kids as men, has lead to many heated conversations.
Ireland is changing and I’m just fed up with men being constantly knocked, while increasing numbers of us are hands-on dads and play our part.
I believe men and women and all in society should have equal rights and opportunities. So rather than constantly belittling us, feminists and Irish society as a whole should instead take the constructive step in the new year by calling on a vote to reject Article 41.2 of the Irish Constitution which states a ‘woman’s place is in the home’.
Newcastle, Co Wicklow
Adoption decision likely to bring about more damage
The decision by Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone to drop adoption-tracing legislation may be politically understandable.
But there is little doubt that it will come as devastating news for many adoptees, who were led to expect that their human rights to know who they were and where they came from were about to be delivered on.
Who knows what more damage they can bear as time marches on.
Sandymount, Dublin 4
Corbyn’s policies belonged to a different time in history
Comrade Corbyn has been beaten by the many and not the few. In politics, it is only possible to make a difference, ie change things, by getting in to power.
Comrade Corbyn’s hard-left policies belong to many yesteryears ago. A trip to Cuba or Venezuela would not be a bad idea for Comrade Corbyn and others in the hard left camp to see socialism in action.
Kieran O Regan
Dáil map would soon sort out navigation issues in chamber
Instead of printing thousands of calendars, why don’t TDs print off maps of the Dáil chamber because, if we are to believe what we are told, certain TDs were in the chamber when votes were taken, but they could not find their way to their seats to vote so others had to vote for them.
Bishopstown, Co Cork
Housing homeless in areas of depopulation makes sense
In Dublin, there is a housing shortage and rental is very high. At the same time, in Cavan, schools are threatened with closure due to depopulation. A similar situation exists in many rural communities. Houses are vacant and rental is much cheaper.
Are all Dublin homeless under obligation to reside in Dublin? Surely, common sense dictates a rethink.
Anne G Donnellan
Cill Rois, An Clár