Original: oil and acrylic on canvas, 8 by 14 inches; © Lee Robinsong 2008
Winter Solstice is celebrated around the world as the time when the light once again emerges from the dark. In the Celtic folklore of the British Isles, Solstice is a time of combat between mortal enemies, the Holly King and the Oak King.
The Holly King is the lord of the waning year, darkness and decay, inner knowledge and mysteries (and later became a model for Santa Claus). The Oak King is his twin brother, Lord of the Greenwood, king of the waxing year, representing light, growth and expansion.
At Winter Solstice, the Holly King and Oak King fight a mighty battle to claim the Crown of the Year. The Holly King is slain and the Oak King presides over the return of the sun until Midsummer, when they battle again.