Soul-reviving dance in Errington

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If you’re tired of the relentless commercial emphasis accompanying Christmas, two upcoming events in Errington may help cure those seasonal blahs.

On Friday, Dec. 21 the Errington War Memorial Hall and adjacent community park host a pair of events designed to acknowledge the shortest day of the year and a gradual return to more daylight.

“Dances of universal peace have been done all over the globe since the ‘70s,” said Joanne Sales of a winter solstice celebration featuring simple chants songs and dancing she will host in the hall from 7:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

“The intention is to transcend the divisions between different religious tradition ... to see the unity,” Sales said. “The chants are really simple and are fully taught to you.

“The religions of the world are the same regarding the rebirth that happens during the darkest night. We’re honouring that.”

Sales said the sacred words and phrases spoken while doing movement in a circle is not about dogma but community inclusion and to acknowledge the wisdom of all spiritual traditions

“Everyone takes part. There’s no audience. People are surprised by how comfortable they feel,” she said, adding small donations, while not necessary, will be gratefully accepted.

Earlier that same day there is a spiral walk with candles in the community park.

Jennifer McRae is one of the organizers for the event, which grew out of informal activities held by a group of Errington home schoolers. She said the symbolic walk is a way of welcoming light back to the season.

Taken from the Waldorf tradition, she said the walk “is an opportunity to move through the darkness, find our light and add it to the light of all.”

A large spiral will be created out of evergreen boughs with a candle placed in the centre. Participants are asked to bring their own candle housed in a hollowed out apple or orange that they will light from the centre than use to light other candles as they exit the spiral.

Shared homemade bread also forms part of the occasion. Information sheets are available at the Errrington post office or e-mail McRae at abcb@shaw.ca for more info on the walk that begins at 6:30 p.m. Warm winter clothing is recommended and attendees are encouraged to check out the dances of universal peace afterwards.

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