The Winter Solstice is an important holiday for many pagans. This is the time of year when darkness slowly fades to light. Beginning the day following the Solstice the sun will rise a little farther in the sky, and remain there a bit longer each day. The Winter Solstice which is held this year on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 will have a special introduction, a lunar eclipse. This lunar eclipse is said to occur in the early morning hours on Tuesday and should last for appoximately three hours. Ritual colors for the Winter Solstice are traditionally red, green, and white, however most wiccans have their own preferences. In some traditions the Winter Solstice is also refered to as Yule. The term Yule is derived from the Norse word Iul which means “wheel.” What ever it may be called, the Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It is the turning point on which the Oak King begins his reign for the coming new year. As is tradition, the Yule log is burned at this time. A log is placed in the fire pit, whether it be a fireplace or at the actual Sabbat site, with only one end of the log in the fire and is then lit with the remenants of the previous years log, inching it into the fire as it burns. However, the end of this years log should be kept so that it may be used the following year to light the new log. Appropriate decor for this Sabbat are holly branches, mistletoe, ivy, evergreen boughs or wreaths, poinsettas, and pine cones. Herbs commonly used during this period include bayberry, cinnamon, frankincense, thistle, laurel, and sage, to name a few. Overall the Winter Solstice is a celebration of renewed light. Light which has returned to warm the earth so that it may begin the rebirth of life. As the moon rises on December 21 the lunar eclipse will kick off Yule with an extravagant show, no matter how you spend the holidays, this Winter Solstice is sure to be enchanting.