The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year, and the point at which the sun is furthest from the Southern Hemisphere. This year, the Southern Hemisphere will reach its winter solstice on the 21st of June.
Check out some of the ways you can celebrate this astronomical event in Sydney.
This year, Western Sydney will celebrate the winter solstice with fire, lanterns and live music at the Serpentine Canal. Hosted by Rookwood Cemetery, the Winter Solstice Dusk Ceremony is a unique event designed to honour the multicultural traditions of this community. From 3pm, head to the corner of Necropolis Drive and Necropolis Circuit for lantern making, music, and afternoon tea. This will be followed by a welcome from Indigenous elders Uncle Max Harrison and Aunty Rhonda Dixon. At dusk, a procession will lead visitors to historic Elephant House, where the ceremony will continue with a fire, a smoking ceremony, and more musical performances.
As part of the Good Food & Wine Show, the Three Blue Ducks will be hosting a special Winter Solstice Feast at their popular Rosebery restaurant on 21 June. The converted warehouse will welcome hot coals and roaring fires for the occasion, as well as a six-course feast celebrating all the flavours of winter. Guests will get to sample mouth-watering dishes such as coffee-rubbed brisket with smoked potato mash, charred king prawns with avocado mousse, and spit-roasted pork rolls served with mustard and pickles. There will also be a selection of drinks mixed with Archie Rose’s limited edition Winter Gin, as well as a winter hop ale from Young Henry’s. Limited tickets to this extravaganza are available at $150 per head.
The Carrington Hotel honours the winter spirit with its Winter Solstice Soiree on Saturday, 23 June. At midday, Sydney group Hands Heart & Feet will assemble more than 100 drummers and dancers to perform at the front of The Carrington Hotel. Throughout the day, the hotel grounds will also host a number of local entertainers with a range of delightful performances. At 6pm a spectacular fireworks display will be held, accompanied by the party-starting sounds of Samba Trombada. The evening’s festivities will also include two Winter Solstice Balls, with an extravagant masquerade held in the Grand Dining Room, and the annual peasants ball taking place in the Ballroom.
As the longest night of the year, and the beginning of lengthening days, the winter solstice holds spiritual significance for many people. Considered a time to reflect and set new goals, the winter solstice will be celebrated by yogis and yoginis across the world. On 22 June, head to BodyMindLife yoga studio in Surry Hills for their special Winter Solstice Yoga Flow. Senior teacher Mandy Scotney will lead attendees through a series of relaxing and mindful movements, accompanied by soul-centring sounds from violinist Rafael Dye and tabla artist Maharshi Raval. With a combination of music and movements designed to warm you up from the inside out, attendees will leave feeling refreshed and ready for the new season. Although spaces are limited, you can find other winter solstice classes happening in venues across Sydney, including yoga studios in Newtown, Manly and Petersham.
There’s plenty to see and do in Sydney this winter!