Winter Solstice ceremony will prepare participants for the New Year |

Winter Solstice ceremony will prepare participants for the New Year

Scott Iwasaki

Winter Solstice, also known as Yule, is the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the Earth experiences more than 12 hours of darkness, said Jennifer Mulholland, CEO of Healthy Happy Human Beings, a Park City-based organization dedicated to educating, empowering and connecting people to be healthy, happy and whole.

"It’s one of the most auspicious times of year where we get to celebrate the return of the light," Mulholland told The Park Record. "Our ancestors believed Yule was when the sun reached a point in the calendar where it stood still, before the return of longer days and shorter nights. It’s the oldest winter celebration in the world and different cultures celebrate it."

In keeping with that spirit, Healthy Happy Human Beings (H3BE) will host a Winter Solstice ceremony and celebration at the Shop Yoga Studio, 1167 Woodside Ave., on Sunday, Dec. 21. The event will be nondenominational and open to individuals, families and children aged 10 and older

"This is one of our signature and special events of the year," Mulholland said. "We aspire to raise awareness in the seven domains of well being — physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, financial and environmental."

The ceremony, which will begin at 5 p.m., will be facilitated by Mulholland, Purity of Play owner Jill Johnson, and Mountain Sage Natural Health & Acupuncture’s Dr. Babbie Lester. Rebound Health and Performance Center owner Scott Kelly, Shaman Mary Christa Smith, who is the director of Summit County Power Works Initiative, and David Belz, owner of The Shop Yoga Studio.

"These leaders will help give people some beautiful experiences during this Winter Solstice, which I call a seed time," Mulholland said. "I call it that because it’s an opportunity for us to plant our desires, dreams, purpose and passions for the year to come."

The ceremony will also be a time for participants to rid themselves of things that have lost their meaning and importance, according to Mulholland.

"I like to think of it as releasing beliefs, patterns and old relationships that don’t serve or support our higher potential," she said. "We then have this opportunity to welcome in the light to illuminate what we’re here for, what our purpose is, what our strengths and skills are and the purpose of our being.

"We honor love, light and rebirth and honor the unity of human kind," Mulholland said. "As we step in to 2015, the new cycle is all about honoring our authentic selves and who we are meant to become."

The theme this year is the symbolism of the yin and the yang, which is the integration of the value of the dark and the light.

"We can’t have the light without the dark and vice versa," she said. "We’ll play with that this year to bring forth that dimension."

The ceremony will open and close with Shaman Mary Christa Smith, who is the director of the Summit County Power Works Initiative.

"This will allow us to release into the fire that what we want to manifest in the coming year," Mulholland said. "So we’ll have fire pits outside the door."

One of the more popular components of the ceremony are the letters everyone will write to themselves.

"These letters include what it is they wish to experience during the next year," Mulholland explained. "They seal and self-address the envelopes and I will send them out next year right before the solstice."

There will also be live music by Sophia Dion and Dallas Brown, who will play during the ceremony

"Sophia is 14 and left Park City to go to school, but will be back for the holidays and will perform during the ceremony," Mulholland said. "Dallas is a Salt Laker who is an incredible Native American flutist who has performed with us in the past."

After the ceremony, the celebration will continue at 7:30 p.m. with music by DJ Jess Stobagh.

"We ask those people who want to stay for the celebration and dance to bring a side dish and a beverage to share," Mulholland said. "We want to create harmonious community and reconnect ourselves and spirit to each other on our planet."

Mulholland said Sunday’s ceremony and celebration benefit the community.

"We as a species are being asked to wake up to why we’re here and who we really are and unplug what our media and culture has told us we can and cannot be," she said. "This is a way for us to help others reconnect to the true nature and highest expression of our human potential."

Healthy Happy Human Beings will host a Winter Solstice celebration and ceremony at Shop Yoga Studio, 1167 Woodside Ave., on Sunday, Dec. 21, beginning at 5 p.m. Advance registration is $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 10 to 18. Admission will be $30 for adults and $15 for children at the door. For more information, visit