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Soyal est la cérémonie du solstice d’hiver des peuples Zuni and Hopi qui a lieu le 21 December, the shortest day of the year. The participants ceremoniously bring back the sun from its long slumber, mark the beginning of another cycle of the Wheel of the Year and work towards purification. Pahos prayer sticks are made before the Soyal ceremony, to bless the whole community, including homes, animals and plants. The sacred underground chambers of the kiva are ritually opened to mark the beginning of the Kachina season.

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Soyal, le solstice d'hiver amérindien des Zuni et Hopi

They welcome new life and celebrate all that nature has created. Sacred rituals take place in special chambers, called kivas, which are often square in shape and underground. With the rituals, they honor their guardian spirits, the kachinas, who descend from their kingdom on Earth and visit their people during the Soyal period.

These spirits are shaped like humans and are considered benevolent beings. They can be male or female, and represent several creatures in nature, and are associated with natural events like the healing of the sick, rain and the growth of plants. When they appear, they are said to leave behind gifts for children.

Exactly 16 days before the winter solstice, one of the main kachinas appears in their village. It is a spiritual event that has a lot of significance for the Hopi tribe. He is said to be walking unsteadily, and looks like he has just woken up from a deep sleep.

When he arrives, he walks to the central square and performs a dance and song that is considered too sacred for the villagers to hear. The main point of this ritual is to bring the sun back from its winter slumber, which is why it occurs at the winter solstice.

Before the kachinas arrive, the Hopi tribesmen prepare for the ceremony by creating pahos, which are special prayer sticks made specifically for this ceremony. They are usually made of pinyon feathers and needles, which come from a type of tree native to their region.

When the kachinas arrive, the leaders of the Hopi tribe perform special rituals where they use a decorated shield to stage the sun being attacked by malevolent forces. At the end of the whole celebration, they perform a public dance for the kachina. The guardian spirits will stay with the tribe until their season ends in the middle of the year, and from there they will return to their homes in the mountains.

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Today, Native American Zuni and Hopi peoples celebrate Soyal, the winter solstice. When the kachinas arrive, the leaders of the Hopi tribe perform special rituals in the kivas to stage the sun being attacked by malevolent forces. At the end of the whole celebration, they perform a public dance for the kachina. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #December 21 #soyal #zuni #hopi

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