It's the hibernal (winter) solstice today

The actual solstice occurs in about two and a half hours’ time at 4.46pm today (21 June). On this shortest day we get only 9 hours and 54 minutes of daylight in Sydney.

I always look forward to the solstice with much joyful anticipation because it means that in the next weeks the blackbirds will start their predawn sexual cavorting and carolling in the hunt for mates.

I love the birds and all, and I think it’s wonderful that nature works in wondrous ways, but for gawdsakes, do they have to announce it with such a song and dance at such an ungodly hour??


Up over, of course, it’s Summer Solstice – Midsummer’s Night. Watch your dreams!

Hey, that means for you Zoe it’s a downhill run from hereon in.

For us downunders, it’s all uphill from here.

Except for the fucking blackbirds of course. :smiley:

The solstice has just occurred.

Don’t you just love that?

You’re a bit east of us Cunctator, so we’re still about 15 minutes from the true sundown.

But the birds will fucking chirp in the morning all the same.


you got it the wrong way round… it’s the longest day here. lol… there’s still setting sun around 11pm!

According to this site, twilight today starts at 5:17 am and ends at 10:26 pm, giving us just under 7 hours of darkness. Screws the heck out of my sleeping schedule - last night we stopped at a friend’s for a few beers and next thing we knew it was midnight. Sure didn’t seem like it.

The flip side - December 21 - we have twilight starting at 7:56 am and ending at 5:40 pm. That’s when it really sucks - the whole time it’s light out I’m at work!

As a complete hijack, I’d be forever lost in Australia. I don’t think I’d ever get used to December being a summer month.

Just to celebrate the winter soltice, the sun never arrived in Auckland at all. It pissed down all day.

I’m glad it was the shortest day cause it was a bloody crappy day.

You got blackbirds that start their noisy mating rituals in the dead of winter??

Is that the kind of real daylight that you can actually see by? If so, it is all very unfair, 'cos there’s no way we get 9 hours of daylight when it is our Winte rSolstice here (Scotland).

I wish to reigster a complaint!

It depends on how far from the Equator you are. I’m located more or less at -82.7, 27.8 – 5 degrees above the tropic line – and our solstices are much more balanced. On our longest day, civil twilight runs from 6:09a to 8:56p, about 15 hours. On our shortest day, civil twilight is 6:52a to 6:06p, which is about 11 hours.

On the other hand, according to the same site I get those numbers from, your (Glasgow, -4.25, 55.83) longest twilight / day period is 2:30a to 10:08p, which is about 19.5 hours, and your shortest is from 7:59a to 4:32p, or about 8.5 hours.

Keep in mind, civil twilight is not the same as sunrise / sunset, it’s the time when it’s bright enough to be outside and mowing or playing catch or whatever without artificial lighting.

And also, no matter how short your day is, at least it’s better than things at the north pole (0, 90). Twilight ended at 4:31a on October 8th, and didn’t come back until March 5th at 6:08a. However, it won’t be dark again until 10:14a on October 8th.

Or should I say Happy Beltane!!

Bad OuryL! My tiny brain is melting because of all this stupid “sunshine” stuff we have just now, but I do still think Beltane was in May.

Can’t fool me - Ha!

(N.B. The above statement may not be true)

Personally I thought the longest day of the year was yesteday. But that was just work related I guess.

Okay, so it’s the longest day of the year. How come it is just going to keep getting hotter and hotter here until September?

Is this addressed to me? I have been reading this thread but I had nothing to add, so I didn’t post.

I haven’t really done anything to celebrate. Forgot to plan. :smack: If you have any suggestions I could probably still have a summer related dinner and small celebration. I might have some fireworks…

I did send an e-mail out to everyone I know, and will wish everyone I meet a happy summer solstice.

Nope. Beltane (usually celebrated on May 1) is the cross-quarter day between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. The solstice is just called Midsummer or (sometimes) Litha.

I understand that, as would be expected for seasonal celebrations, Southern Hemisphere neopagans celebrate the sabbats six months offset from Northern Hemisphere ones. So, Good Yule!

Er, no. You should have said Happy Beltane on May 1st. It’s Happy Litha now. (Or Happy Solstice, since very few of us actually use the term Litha.)

Which brings up a wonderment I’ve always wondered. Since the seasons are reversed, do y’all celebrate (well, the ones of you who do celebrate such things) Beltane in October and Samhain in May? 'Cause my brain can’t handle that. Or do you keep the names, but Samhain’s a fertility rite in October? Or is Samhain still in October, still a Remembering-the Dead Ancestors rite but in early Spring? 'Cause the mind, it boggles.

shakes first at matt

durn you, matt! That what I get for not refreshing while I make my lunch.

Ah well. Is he right? If everyone agrees on this, you have far more likeminded neopagans then we grow up North.

The 9 hours and 54 minutes was the actual time between sunrise and sunset. There’s obviously additional “daylight” before sunrise and after sunset during the period of civil twilight, if it’s not cloudy. Sydney isn’t as far south of the equator as Scotland is north.