"It is Christmas day, the werewolves' birthday, the door of the solstice stands wide open"
Winter solstice dawn over Llanrug.
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeWinter solstice dawn over Llanrug. - Credit: Eric Jones

In the countries of Eastern Europe, it was believed that a baby born on Christmas Day would grow up to become a werewolf.  Sometimes it was the conception that would cause this, so sexual abstinence was often practised during Advent.  The solstice was said to attract malevolent creatures such as werewolves, witches and even the Devil himself.  We know how important these times were in older eras, when survival depended on being in tune with the seasons and making ample provision for the barren months ahead.  It is as though the sense of awe and fear felt by people was mirrored in an idea of expansiveness; of the world being a portal through which anything could enter.