The chalk white horse at Alton Barnes was supposed to be lit up with tea lights to celebrate the Winter Solstice, but from my vantage point at the Barge pub at Honeystreet it didn't seem to be happening and the white horse itself was perhaps not looking its best underneath all the white snow on the Pewsey Downs hill, shrouded behind the Kennet and Avon.
All these feasts at this time - Saturnalia, Yule and the like - are in celebration of the astronomical phenomenon that is the solstice, and Christmas was originally introduced at this time by the Pope of the day to exploit the attendance of festivals that already took place on the sites where churches had been astutely built. In all probability Jesus Christ was born on a date equivalent to 12 September 7BC in our current calendar.
Ginger Fringe Friend
Full Colour Sheep
Top Of The Hill