Winter solstice a reason to light up

June 1 heralds the start of winter in the southern hemisphere. From the idyllic autumnal days of warming sunshine we have plunged headlong into an extremely cold season for this part of the world. This morning I had to add a minus sign to the temperature of 3 degrees! Usually I get up early but this morning I was struggling to get warm. My feet still feel like ice-blocks but that might have something to do with popping outside to photograph a somewhat icy but stunning landscape. It reminds me of my winter travels to Lancashire and Yorkshire as I look across the open paddocks with rolling hills. But hopefully, with the sun on the way up, it will warm up soon.

To celebrate our winter solstice the Mansfield Lantern Festival now in its fifth year runs an event for all the family to get involved. In the weeks leading up to the event there are lantern workshops to encourage children to make their own. My husband and I, did the lazy adult’s version with my Ikea Christmas lanterns replacing the candles with safer lighting being the flashing red tail light from my bicycle and his head torch! There was a procession to the area which had been set up for the festivities. Loved seeing the families and the little ones with their lanterns. The cast from the forthcoming Dr Seuss musical had donned the red and white stripy tall hats with lights to promote their show. The night was clear but cold so parkas and gloves were a must. For a town of 4000 there was an excellent turn-out accounting for the queues for food and drink including a mulled cider which I can recommend. The two huge fire pits were most appreciated by festival goers and added to the atmosphere. It reminded me of the atmosphere of an European city in winter. For some with littlies the nearby pub for a meal and a chance to warm up was a popular option. It is always great to talk to new people and catch up with locals. Life in this small town is never boring!

5 thoughts on “Winter solstice a reason to light up

  1. Cold,. I still reckon it gets colder in the town in which you were born, Orange, NSW. Flaming cold up here today down to 10 degrees C and only got up to 19 deg all day at Maroochydore, Queensland. But it’s nice to get rugged up and around a good glass of red wine, or a rum and bonox. Lol Dad

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is the beauty of the living down south in Australia during winter. Enjoying my wood heater while watching them sweat it out in the Tour de France in 40 degrees heatwave. That is hot by Australian standards. Since moving back to the country I am enjoying the seasons and more aware of the changes. Thank you for your kind words Alex.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your part of the world is so much colder than where I live. We get about two weeks of really cold winter which would be about -6C, sometimes even lower than that, but most winters are mild between 0 and 10C. We have unusually warm winters too, which I enjoy.

    Festivals where community joins together are special. We have a new city manager here who is attempting to bring some of that back, with seasonal and holiday gatherings in the park (which is just across from our pecan orchard). Many towns around here simply can’t afford to put on big shindigs, so they’ve dropped the small town festivities over the last couple of decades.


    • Was -2 degrees celsius here after a huge frost last week but today is very mild and sunny. Spring has sprung.
      Building community is so important. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be a huge shindig but a bringing together of people.

      Liked by 1 person

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