Today is the winter solstice, which marks the longest night and the shortest day of winter. It’s generally overlooked by Christians, but pagans gather in sacred places to watch the dawn, as the light returns, on the morning after the longest night. Yule logs and candles that are left to burn through the night, are part of traditions across northern Europe, as people recognise this time of rebirth and renewal and begin to make plans for the year ahead.
Many ancient sites are lined up with the solstice sun, indicating the cultural importance of this astronomical event for our ancestors. But what if we lived on a world with two suns? How would that impact on our culture and our rituals? And what would the world be like? This is an interesting exercise for world-building fantasy or sci-fi settings.
Writing prompt: Create a world with two suns and think about the cultures that creates. Is the world very hot at some parts of the year, when both suns are high? Are there long, dark winters, when neither sun is present? What festivals and rituals do these changes create and how does it affect clothes, food and language, as well as flora and fauna? Write a story or scene in your new world that indicates the significance of the two suns.