Have you been there with a lantern?’ How Australians embrace the winter solstice

Have you been there with a lantern?’ How Australians embrace the winter solstice

Winter is a difficult time for many Australians. Yuletide nostalgia inherited from European colonists leads us to do bizarre things like spray fake snow onto our windows during high summer.

Since 1980, Australians have been offered “Christmas in Jul” as an antidote for this climate incongruity. But outside of Yulefest, the original festival, the folly proved to be too much to bear. It seems more acceptable to accept the absurdity of plum pudding being served in front of an air conditioner.


Recently, however, there have been some alternatives. Winter solstice celebrations are becoming more popular, from neopagan family gatherings and city-funded events to neopagan family reunions.

Nicole Lenoir Jourdan, Ph.D. candidate and travel communications expert, attributes some of the newfound popularity of the Solstice to ” Mysticore.” This is an increase in interest in the arcane, from Witchcraft to Astrology that coincided with the Trump era.

Lenoir Jourdan is right when she says, “It’s witch season” and “they’re coming out from the broom cupboard.” # WitchTok is the most viewed video on TikTok with over 14,7 billion views (yes, that’s a billion). She is not surprised. She says that witches “have always had a knack for business.”

The Solstice has both a physical and mystical aspect. The Solstice will occur at 03:32 (universal time) on 21 June, which is Monday afternoon for Australia’s eastern coast. The earth’s south pole will tilt for a moment, bringing the longest night to the southern hemisphere and bringing in the new solar calendar and brighter days.

Since the ancient Incas, cultures From the ancient Incas to China of today, cultures have celebrated winter solstices by ritualizing light’s triumph over darkness.

There will be 120 solstice-themed events in Australia this year. These include Cairns, Coogee, and Western Australia. Lantern walks and naked swimming are popular events that have spread from the alternative community into the mainstream. You can celebrate the event in 2021 with Deep House Yoga sessions, Witchy Film Screenings, or even Pie and mash for the MG Auto Club. The Solstice has a spell on everyone.

LenoirJourdan believes that after a year of uncertainty, Australians, as a society that is open-minded, commercial, and tolerant, will be eager to take any diversion. You may have been to that venue before. She asks, “But haven’t you been there before with a lantern?” She says that novelty is enough to lure many Australians outside, and she mentions one case study of the Solstice: The Dark Mofo.

Dark Mofo, a pioneer of the June Solstice Game, was born in Hobart. Leigh Carmichael, the festival’s director of creative development, says that it was “conceived as a Winter Solstice Festival… interested in ancient mythologies and cultures”.

It is no surprise that other businesses and municipalities are increasingly inclined or even use the word Solstice to try to lure people out of the cold.

The inaugural Sydney Solstice festival offered locals an array of solstice celebrations, from midnight yum cha to Aboriginal stargazing tours in the harbor and vaudevillian variety shows. It ended on 20 June, before the Solstice.

In cities like Brisbane, where the average winter temperature is 22C, Australians are bemused, but also excited, by the “winter village” that appears in ever more cities.

Carmichael, despite its commercial appeal, says that the winter solstice “is a celebration of life in the darkest time of year. And whether we notice it or not, we’re intrinsically connected to the ebb-and-flow of the seasons and, for whatever reason, the turning point resonates deeply within us”.

Katherine Knott of Chewton, Victoria, was drawn to the winter depths by a sense of primordial yearning. Since 2005, she has been celebrating the winter solstice every year with her family. To welcome the “return to the light,” they draw upon various pagan customs, including yule. Every year, extended family members gather to celebrate the holiday with a decorated tree, gifts, and a roast dinner. So far, it’s Christmas, but the Solstice taps a different spirit. Knott, like Carmichael says, says that we cycle whether we realize it or not. These hormonal, lunar, and seasonal changes affect us all.

Knott compares winter to menstruation. It is a period that needs to be reserved for quiet reflection. She says that this is a period when we must “rely on our inner flame to keep warm.”

Since childhood, the Solstice has been celebrated by Britannia actor Liana Cornell. Cornell says that mulled wine, decorations, and feasting Solstice are part of her Celtic heritage. Cornell believes it’s important to “go deeper” and understand the origins of this holiday and your connection to it.

Cornell says that by honoring your ancestral traditions and the land on which you observe the Solstice, “we can intuitively create rituals that speak to us more personally.”

Winter solstice is a good time to celebrate. It also allows for hedonistic pleasures. Carmichael believes that, while Dark Mofo’s symbolism is important to some attendees, others enjoy the opportunity to “dance and feast in winter.”

He says that “either way, it’s joyful at a time when things are otherwise pretty miserable.” So pass the mulled wines.

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