Soyal is the winter solstice ceremony of the Zuni and the Hopi (Hopitu Shinumu), The Peaceful Ones, also known as the Hopi Indians. It is held on December 21, the shortest day of the year. The main polla of the ritual is to ceremonially bring the sun back from its long winter slumber. It also marks the beginning of another cycle of the Wheel of the Year, and is a time for purification. Pahos, prayer sticks, are made prior to the Soyal ceremony, to bless all the community, including their homes, animals, and plants. The sacred underground ritual chambers, called kivas, are ritually opened to mark the beginning of the Kachina season.
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