The Winter Solstice in Australia- What Is It?  When Is It?

The Winter Solstice in Australia- What Is It? When Is It?

What Is The Winter Solstice?

The Winter Solstice marks the beginning of Yule, which in the Southern Hemisphere is June 21st (In the Northern hemisphere it is around December 21st). It is sometimes referred to as Midwinter and is the day of the year that has the least amount of daylight hours and the longest night

After the Winter Solstice, the hours of daylight increase as we move towards Spring and Summer. 

The Winter Solstice is recognised as a time of renewal and rebirth. It was historically celebrated as a time of solar rebirth because after the Winter Solstice, the Sun would grow stronger, representing a rebirth of light after the darkest day of Winter.

It is said that on the night of the Winter Solstice, the goddess gives birth to the sun god, bringing new light into the world again.

Winter Solstice Celebrations

The Winter Solstice is often celebrated with light, fire & feasting. It is common place

Chocolate Yule Log Cake

to light a fire, light candles and celebrate with food. Considering that the Winter Solstice also marks the beginning of Yule, you may see correlations between the activities performed during Christmas, and Winter Solstice celebrations. This is because the Winter Solstice and Yule are primarily celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere, which would place them around the time of Christmas. Activities such as bringing greenery inside (such as holly & christmas trees), placing a Yule log on the fire (or making a delicious Yule log like the one pictured on the right), lighting candles and giving presents are all associated with Christmas and with Winter Solstice festivals. 

How Can You Celebrate The Winter Solstice In Australia?

valley in australia in winter

The Winter Solstice, whilst being a pivotal day within the Wheel of the Year, is commonly observed, but not as commonly celebrated in Australia as it is in the Northern Hemisphere. This could be partly due to the fact that in Australia, we do not have as harsh a climate as our Northern Hemisphere counterparts. We are still growing bananas and tomatoes in Australia during the Winter and only certain areas actually receive any snow. Unlike many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, we have evergreen trees, so the tradition of bringing greenery indoors is not needed- we just go outside and see it- yes the leaves may change colour (slightly), but most native Australian trees are green all year round. The fact that Australia is a fairly temperate climate means that we do not rely on the same traditions in order to cope with the drastic changes in weather. If we spend too long outside we get very cold and might end up with pneumonia- but normally we will not freeze to death (unless you are in Tasmania or areas of Australia that do receive snow). For these reasons and many more, Australian society does not celebrate the Winter Solstice to the same extent as many other countries.

So how does this work if you are a Pagan or Witch in Australia? Just because we have not traditionally celebrated the Winter Solstice with the same exuberance as our Northern Hemisphere neighbours, don't let this discourage you from participating in Yule or Winter Solstice festivals/events.

The Winter Solstice is still a good time to observe the changing of the year, and to welcome in the warmer, lighter days (even if they are not as drastic as our Northern Hemisphere counterparts).

Some small ways that you can celebrate the Winter Solstice in Australia include:

*Having a fire



fire in a fireplace*Burning candles to welcome the light

*Observing the Sunrise or Sunset to pay homage to the Sun.

*Having a feast

*Creating lanterns with fairy light and hanging them inside

    Finding our own ways to celebrate the changing of the seasons strengthens our connection with the land and creates a stronger bond with nature. 

    Let me know if you celebrate the Winter Solstice? How you plan to celebrate the Winter Solstice this year?

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