Hey, come and join the solstice party
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
DARKNESS descending early is no% reason to hit the hay for Nimbin woman Robyn Francis.
The owner of permaculture centre Djanbung Gardens will instead spend the longest night of the year burning hay. Robyn is hosting a winter solstice celebration at her property this evening to mark the year's shortest day and longest night.
The winter solstice is marked differently by most cultures, but is often linked to pagan celebrations of renewal and fertility.
However, because the solstice falls in December in the Northern Hemisphere it has become blurred with Christmas. Robyn said tonight's event would eliminate the commercialisation of the solstice.
"It will be about new beginnings, reflection, connecting with nature and the change in seasons and cycles," she said.
The celebration will begin at 6pm with a ceremonial fire near sacred Celtic trees, a larger bonfire and a night of music.
About 200 people have attended the event at Djanbung Gardens since 1994, and all are welcome.
"So many people come back because it's a chance to think about life, nature and to get away from the crass commercialised events we usually celebrate," said Robyn.
Djanbung Gardens is located in Neem Road, Nimbin. Neem Road is about 300m past the Nimbin Showground.
Tickets are $15 or $12 concession at the gate.