Happy Solstice! Ready to Bang Our Drums.

It’s the darkest day of the year, and there are threats of ice storms, but that won’t stop us from walking around in the dark banging our drums and shaking our noisemakers. Yes, I am forcing my little family back out into to the cold to march around Allan Gardens holding candles, making noise, and collecting holiday stares to chase back the darkness on this longest night of the year.

Today there are only 7 hours and 49 minutes of daylight, which means we need to make the most of it… or just make cookies. The 21st is always the official start of my Xmas holiday.  I do my best not to buy a single present, or make a single treat before the 21st.  But today, I turn the holiday tunes on and dance around the house singing along wafting flour and cinnamon behind me everywhere I go.

In years past, we attended the Kensington Market Festival of Lights almost religiously, organising our friends and a great feed of Hot & Sour Soup, BBQ pork and noodles afterwards. But I’ve explained before why I’ve opted out of the Kensington Market parade. We miss our friends, and the food, but not the insane crowds and gawkers.

So we have created a much more intimate and personal parade.  It’s usually only the 3 of us.  Occasionally a cop who sees us walking around the park with open flame will participate in his or her own way by tracking us from a distance.  We get strangel looks from people walking their dog, but we just pretend they are a part of the parade and keep walking.

So this year, around 5:30pm, we’ll don our silly hats, bundle up tight and head off to Allan Gardens to chase off the darkness.  If other people showed up with candles and drums to parade around with us, that would be great fun too.

So Happy Solstice. Bang your drum. Light up your own corner of the world and celebrate the return of the light!

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

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