Winter solstice is today, 21st June 2012 at 9:09am AEST.
It’s one of my favourite dates, as it signals that the daylight hours will be increasing. Though it is the longest night of the year.
There are so many fascinating rituals attached to this astronomical event – see the wiki page.
It is noticeable that most of these are relating to the Northern Hemisphere (the older pagan/celtic ones considered to have been ‘appropriated’ by Christianity to tell the story of the birth of Jesus); with only New Zealand and South American cultures featuring from the Southern Hemisphere.
I went searching for information about whether there is a dreaming story about the Winter solstice from the Aboriginal culture. I found a very interesting blog post on Australian Aboriginal Astronomy about a stone circle in Victoria that indicates a possible link to tracking the equinoxes and solstices; it has some great images, so check it out here; this story from the same blog is fabulous too. It is evident that accurate observations were made by many Aboriginal groups; though I haven’t been able to find any stories or rituals attached to it … does anyone know more?
I wanted to a cool picture to add to this post … but couldn’t find one I liked … except the below one from BOM, it’s rare to find one with Australia as the focus!