Gypsyworld Encyclopaedia, entry #2 – The Solstice Dance
The Winter Solstice Dance takes place, naturally, at the Winter Solstice – which is also marks the end of one calendar year and the beginning of the next. Preparation for the event begins the night before the Solstice [Solstice-Eve Eve] with the making of the Monarch Hat, a paper cone made out of yellow paper. An egg is blown out and a face is drawn on it, representing the transition of power from last year’s Monarch to this year’s Monarch. The egg is tied to the crest of the hat.
The next night [Solstice Eve] the Solstice Monarch is chosen by lottery – spoons are placed in a small paper sack and the person who picks the yellow painted spoon becomes Monarch. The Monarch gives Solstice names to everyone, handing each one or more colorful scarves [not pictured here] to wear during the celebration. Everyone but the Monarch then sits on the floor for the Solstice feast. The Monarch dines on an upturned bucket, representing the Monarch’s [and the celebrants’] victory over tough times.
After the meal the Dance begins. The participants dance in circles around the Monarch until midnight, when everyone sings “So This Is Solstice” and waves their aforementioned colorful scarves [again, not pictured here].
The Monarch then presides over the giving of gifts. As gifts are opened, the gift-wrapping gets balled up and thrown at the Monarch’s hat. When the hat is knocked off and the egg breaks the dance is officially over, although this practice is usually ignored.
(Time to dust this thing off again. Happy holidaysing from the cast and crew of Gypsy. Gypsy should resume regular updates in early January. Thank you for holding, your call is important to us…)