People gather before sunrise at Elizabeth Bay House, lining the hallway ahead of the Winter Solstice. Photo: Dallas Kilponen Simon Ranson from Maroubra casts a long shadow ahead of the winter solstice. Photo: Dallas Kilponen
Some say it’s a more significant day than Christmas.
If you hadn’t realised, Monday is the winter solstice, although many will celebrate on Sunday, June 21.
Think pagans, druids, ley lines and stone circles.
How should it be celebrated?
At Elizabeth Bay House overlooking the harbour, early risers will be hoping for winter sunshine. The house is aligned to the direction of a winter solstice sunrise. All being well, sunlight should pierce through the front door, down the axis of the house and then out the back door.
Maybe getting close to nature is a good way to mark the event.
Julie Brett, founder of Druids Down Under, “set up for the purpose of exploring druidic spirituality in Australia”, was away camping in the woods. A Twitter post on Friday said: “Spent the night camping out at Broom Head. Lovely spot in the forest. It’s so wonderful to spend this time in the wild.”
Pagan and public servant David Garland from Sydney said there would be many private celebrations. “Some covens wear robes and then feast afterwards. One group will be out singing at dawn at a beach waiting for the sunrise,” he said.
Sydney Observatory explains the astronomy of what’s happening. “Winter solstice occurs at 02:38am AEST on Monday, June 22. At this moment the sun is at its most northerly point on its path through the sky. The solstice is a natural turning point in the year. Historically it was a time of new beginnings, of rebirth and revival. From now on the days will lengthen and the warmth of summer is on its way.”
With no presents to buy or tree to recycle, it could catch on.
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