Seasons and Solstices
The seasons are controlled by the sun and the moons positions throughout the earth’s axis. Being in Australia, there are no concrete seasons as we have such a vast variety from the wet and dry seasons in the northern parts of the country and the more temperate regions in the southern half of the continent.
Depending on the month and where you are situated around Australia, the weather will be defined by either the tropic seasons or the temperate zone. These zones are defined by many different aspects, them being; the humidity, average temperatures throughout the appointed season and the amount of rainfall and storms directed at that particular area during the season. The rough seasonal months are as followed for temperate regions of NSW, VIC, SA, TAS and southern WA. Summer: Dec-Feb
[Wells K, 2013]
The solstices are changing every year due to the fact that it actually takes 365.256 days to complete one orbit of the sun but we as humans, round it up to 365 or 366 days. So in saying this the solstice this year in the summer is – December 21 and in the winter – June 21. The solstice, also known as the equinox occurs when the Earth is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees from its vertical axis. In saying this, if the Earth’s rotation was a right angle to the suns axis instead of being the 23.5 degrees, the Earth would ultimately have no solstice or seasons, which to me doesn’t seem like a large gap of degrees, but according to the universe, it can be quite catastrophic.
The summer solstice or summer equinox is the longest day in the year, it is the only day of the year with longest amount of day hours and shortest amount night hours, making it greatly important in most mythologies and old rituals. The same goes for the winter solstice or winter equinox, which is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. [Swinburne University, 2016]
One particular mythology is the feast of Juul, which was a pre-Christian festival celebrated by the Scandinavians at the time of the December solstice. As it was I the northern hemisphere, it was winter, so fires were lit to symbolise the heat, light and life-giving properties of the returning sun. The Juul log was cut down, bought in to the centre of the camp and burned in honour of the great Scandinavian god Thor. A piece of the log was then kept as a token of good luck and then used as the kindling for the following years Juul ceremony. [Time and Date, 2016] Written by Felicity Weir