Sunday, 20 December: Summer Solstice event

Sundown is the time of Solstice – mid-summer in the southern hemisphere, mid-winter in the north. Festivals and traditions are strongly associated with these magical days, when the Sun stood still, which is what solstice means. The most famous is Christmas, but there were many others. The talk will also discuss Christmas. What was the ‘star of Bethlehem?’, Who were the ‘Three Kings’ and just who were those ‘Shepherds watching their flocks by night?’ Who was ‘Father christmas’ and why did Rudolf have a red nose?

In this presentation we look at the astronomical events and astrological meaning that lay at the foundation of many of our spiritual beliefs.

green christmas tree with string lights
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on

The program includes a lecture followed by Q and A and, weather permitting, viewing the Sun set over the Summer Solstice Heel Stone. Bookings are essential.

Stonehenge Aotearoa is New Zealand’s only open air observatory. It has been built specifically to explain how people in the old times, our ancestors, were observing the passage of seasons and stars. Many of these Stonehenges around the world now lay in ruin. Stonehenge Aotearoa is a fully functional henge, the biggest astronomical instrument in New Zealand. Learn how to use the henge to mark the Solstice!