Dec 20, 2006 — Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. Most of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with Christmas actually are linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures. Winter Solstice has been celebrated in many cultures for thousands of years. This start of the solar year is a celebration of light and the rebirth of the sun. In ancient Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Old Norse word, jul, meaning wheel. Todd Moe attended the annual Winter Solstice Celebration at St. Lawrence University, where students and faculty used candles, songs, poems and a dance to welcome the new year.