WITH Winter Solstice celebrations happening soon in Melbourne, Trinity College Foundation Studies students Arthur Thomas Tubali, Lesley Yang and Jasmine Choong Zhi Ming spoke to students about the event and find out how you can celebrate around town.
For those who might not know, Winter Solstice is the time of the year when the night is the longest and the day is the shortest.
This phenomenon officially marks the first day of winter and certain cultures around the world celebrate Winter Solstice as ‘the return of light’.
Trinity College Foundation Studies (TCFS) student Akane Sakamoto from Japan told us that the Japanese celebrate Winter Solstice by eating sweet pumpkins and taking a hot bath with Japanese citrus (yuzu).
Meanwhile Lim Xi from Singapore explained that Singaporeans eat glutinous rice balls filled with sesame, peanuts or red bean paste with their families during Winter Solstice.
The Chinese celebrate Winter Solstice by eating dumplings in family gatherings according to Rodgers, a student from China.
In Vietnam, however they don’t celebrate Winter Solstice, as Phan Thuc Linh Le revealed.
In countries such as Singapore, Japan and China the event is referred to as ‘Dongzhi (冬至)’ while in Vietnam, it is called ‘Đông chí’.
Unlike other countries in the Northern Hemisphere, Australia celebrates the event during June and with the event fast approaching in Melbourne, here are some different ways students can celebrate the event.
Saturday, June 20; Federation Square
As part of The Light in Winter celebrations, Solstice Celebration invites participants to enjoy plenty of scrumptious food, soothing and thrilling music, amazing dance performances as well as bright and illuminating lights.
From 5.00pm, local musicians, artists and dancers will be performing throughout the night and visitors can participate in festivities by joining in by holding more than 2,000 handheld lights!
The entrance fee is free.
For more information about the event, please visit the Solstice Celebration’s official event page over at Federation Square’s website.
Winter Solstice Festival 2015
Sunday, June 21; Montsalvat (7 Hillcrest Avenue, Eltham)
Located at Montsalvat, which is just 35 minutes away from the CBD, at the entrance of the Yara Valley, lies an extraordinary hidden festival.
This festival will start at 3.00pm and finish on 9.00pm and will involve a lantern parade, plenty of food and a large vacant area for those keen to have a picnic on the day itself.
If you are a foodie, there will be a variety of eateries available serving such foods as burgers, gourmet hotdogs and pizza. Food vans and stalls will be stationed there from 3.00pm sharp.
There will also be ‘pre-fire entertainment’ in the form of entertainers performing in front of the bonfire before it is lit as well as the actual ‘fire lighting ceremony’.
Live music will also be on the agenda. There are limited tickets available so if you’re thinking of heading down, you can purchase the tickets at the event’s official site.
For more information, please visit the Winter Solstice Festival 2015’s official website.
This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collab. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch us via firstname.lastname@example.org.