Over five thousand years ago Ancient Egyptians celebrated the re-birth of the sun at this time of year. The midwinter festival celebrated the birth of Horus, son of Aset.
The feast days were for 12 days, to reflect the 12 divisions in their zodiac sun calendar. Ancient Egyptians decorated with greenery and especially with 12 palm shoots as a symbol of the completed year. It was believed that a palm put forth a shoot each month.
I have not kept track of the frequency of our palm shoots, but perhaps the temple cats know.
Karnak Temple was built in alignment with the Solstice in order to focus light on a shrine to the Sun god.
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