This was such an amazing event!
At Sadhana Yoga (Miramar), Winter Solstice activities took place on 22nd June 2014 – This event celebrated warmth, light, vitality and nourishment in the depths of winter. This included eating delicious vegetarian foods, a midwinter ‘pageant’, lighting of candles, building a sacred fire, sharing great company, and letting off fireworks!
Traditionally, winter solstice festivals are celebrated the world over, symbolizing cycles of rebirth-growth-decay, and new beginnings. The Winter Solstice and Yule-tide marks the return of the sun, bringing light into being. In the Northern Hemisphere these festivities normally occur at the end of the year, coinciding with Christmas and New Year.
Here in New Zealand, however, we celebrate the Maori festival of Matariki, where the constellation of Pleiades returns into the dawn skies. Matariki is regarded as the beautiful mother surrounded by her six daughters: Tupu-a-nuku, Tupu-a-rangi, Waitī, Waitā, Waipuna-a-rangi and Ururangi. The date on the Maori calendar for 2014 is June 28th.
From a cross-cultural perspective, here in the Southern Hemisphere, this is also a special time for creating new celebrations and festivities – bringing communities together to welcome the return of more sunlight, the return of Pleiades, as well as to share nourishment and greater warmth in the dark depths of a wild Wellington winter.
Ali was the official celebrant and host for the evening, and a great night was had by all!