Saturday, 19 June, 4:15PM Tales of the Winter Solstice

Come celebrate the Winter Solstice with us! Have you ever wondered about what other people do traditionally around the shortest day of the year? Come hear about these. The programme will begin the Sun set over the winter heel stone (weather permitting), followed by tales of the winter solstice.

The Winter Solstice was, and still is one of the most important festivals of the year.  It marks the darkest time of the year.  But, it was also a time to celebrate because on this day light would overcome darkness and from that day forward the sun would grow in strength.  Throughout ancient Europe and Asia Minor it was a festival dedicated to the Sun God. It was the time of the ‘Rebirth of the Sun’ and, the anniversary of the birth of a divine male child, the Son of Light, The Sun of God.  

The program starts at 4:15pm.and, weather permitting, after the introduction we will observe the Sun set on the Winter Solstice Heel Stone.  This will be followed by a presentation in which we explore the legends of this ancient festival and their meaning.  

Bookings are essential.  Fee: Adults $20, Seniors $15, Children $5.   

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, stars and activities of the people. Many ancient henges 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!

Come learn about the traditions occurring around the shortest day of the year! The programme consists of watching the sun set over the heel stone (weather permitting) followed by a presentation by Richard Hall of the tales and history of the Winter Solstice over both time and cultures.