From the days of Pagan gatherings at Stonehenge to Rome’s Saturnalia celebrations, the darkest days of winter have always inspired festivities of renewal. Here are six ways to let go of this crazy year and start fresh on the winter solstice, for soul-searchers of every kind.
For the workaholic
You sleep with your iPhone and go straight from SoulCycle to the boardroom. Your inner Type A will find its chill when Grand Gong Master Don Conreaux brings his good vibrations to the annual gong bath. 227 W 13th St. Dec 21 8–10pm; $27.
For the urban hippie
You just got back from a spirit quest, and you’re dying to share your ayahuasca experience with other kindred spirits. Celebrate the shamanic way a fire ceremony, drumming and dancing in this celebration of Father Sun. No previous experience necessary—just bring a rattle, a drum and a candle in a glass jar. Balance Arts Center, 34 W 28th St, third floor. Dec 21 7–10pm; $45.
For the festive nonbeliever
You know fake news when you see it, and you don’t have time for religious dogma. Meet other skeptics and rational humanists for an evening of critical conversation at this look at the astrological phenomenon of the winter solstice. Whitman and Bloom, 384 Third Ave. Dec 21 6:30–10:30pm; free.
For the one playing cultural catch-up
You’ve been meaning to take in the arts, but you haven’t gotten past your Netflix queue. No worries: You can culture-binge in a very historic setting at a multimedia event with music and dance in tribute to Beatles producer George Martin. Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave. Tue 15–Sat 17 at various times; $35–$95.
For the esoteric enthusiast
You have a favorite astrologer, and this Mercury retrograde is driving you crazy. Recognize the shortest night of the year with a mystical evening of performance art, experimental music and ritual at Bushwick’s Tarot Society, a “divination salon.” Get a reading of your own (from $30 for 15 minutes) to see what the year ahead holds, or pick up a set of cards to take home. Tarot Society Gallery and Reading Room, 4 Charles Pl, Brooklyn. Dec 21 8–10pm; donation suggested.
For the early-rising sun worshiper
You’re up with the sun—and you never hit the snooze button. Get the most out of today’s scant nine hours and 15 minutes of sunlight with urban shaman Mama Donna Hene’s annual dawn drum circle celebration. Bring your own drums, a positive attitude and the whole family—kids and dogs are welcome. Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Ave and Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn. Dec 21 at 7am; free.