Same day flower delivery available
The winter solstice has different meanings for different cultures. If you’re looking to celebrate the event with friends and family, here are some traditions that may inspire your own personal festivities.
What is the winter solstice?
The winter solstice is an astronomical event that occurs annually in the Southern Hemisphere around June 21st. It marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. During the winter solstice, the Earth's axial tilt causes the Sun to reach its most southerly point in the sky, resulting in the shortest period of daylight and the longest period of darkness.
Why is the Winter solstice celebrated?
The winter solstice holds cultural and historical significance in various traditions and civilizations. It has been celebrated for centuries as a turning point in the seasonal cycle, symbolising the rebirth of the Sun and the gradual return of longer days.
In some cultures, the winter solstice is associated with renewal, hope and the triumph of light over darkness. Many cultures and religions hold rituals, festivals and ceremonies to honour this celestial event.
Winter solstice traditions from around the world
Different cultures celebrate the winter solstice in unique ways. Here are some traditions that you may not know:
Yule is a traditional winter solstice celebration originating from Germanic and Nordic cultures. It involves lighting a Yule log, which symbolises the return of light and warmth. Festivities include feasting, exchanging gifts and decorating homes with evergreens.
Celebrated in East Asia, particularly in China, Taiwan and parts of Southeast Asia, Dongzhi Festival is a significant winter solstice celebration. Families gather to enjoy a warm meal, often featuring tangyuan (glutinous rice balls) which are a meal that symbolises reunion and the return of longer days.
In the Andean region of South America, particularly in Peru and Bolivia, Inti Raymi is a traditional Inca festival held during the winter solstice. It honours the Sun god Inti and involves elaborate ceremonies, music, dance and rituals to welcome the sun's return.
This Persian festival is celebrated on the eve of the winter solstice. Families come together to stay awake throughout the night, sharing food, reading poetry and engaging in joyful activities to protect against the darkness and bring good fortune.
Soyal is a winter solstice ceremony observed by the Hopi and Zuni tribes of Native Americans in the southwestern United States. It is a time of purification, prayer and initiation, marked by rituals, dances and the sharing of food.
In ancient Rome, Saturnalia was a week-long festival held around the winter solstice. It involved feasting, gift-giving and merriment, with social roles reversed and masters serving their slaves.
Flowers that symbolise new beginnings
If you’re looking to decorate your home for the solstice you can choose some flowers to represent the rebirth of the sun. This could include sunflowers which represent the sun or tulips which symbolise the coming spring and rejuvenation of nature.
How are you celebrating the Winter Solstice? Share it with us on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtags #InterfloraAU #AlwaysInterflora and #AlwaysThereAnywhere.