Melbourne Light in Winter Solstice Celebration

June 14th, 2011


The Light in Winter celebrates Melbourne’s multicultural communities with the  annual Winter Solstice Celebration – a Night of a Thousand Lights.

  • Saturday 18 June 5pm – 8pm (arrive at 4.30pm to get your lantern)
  • The Light in Winter Celebration  2 June – 3 July
  • Federation Square  FREE

Melbourne’s diverse cultural communities – Burmese, Indian, Sudanese, Greek, Mexican, Japanese and Turkish to  share their gifts of light.

African drums will pound along with Japanese taiko and the fire-breathing bull Torito, at Federation Square as it glows with cultural merriment.

The Light in Winter gathers Melbourne’s multicultural communities into the heart of the city with its annual Winter Solstice Celebration on Saturday 18 June.

Indian, Afghani, Chilean, Sudanese and Turkish communities will be among the 17 multicultural groups,  included as well as Alevi, Congolese, Ghanaian and Iranian groups, will offer their gifts of light, enlightenment and hope to the people of Melbourne with traditional food, rituals, installations, music and dance.

Celebrations will begin as dusk falls with an ancient Indigenous smoking ritual and Welcome to Country at the campfire, followed by a magical flag dance by Ghanian drum and dance troupe, Asanti Dance Theatre.

One thousand handmade lanterns will then begin to dance slowly across the Square in an enchanting parade that the public is invited to join. A drum beat will lead the crowd in a choreographed performance, as we farewell the longest night of the year and celebrate the journey towards Spring.

The Anti Racism Action Band will thrill audiences with their hip hopping, krumping and popping before Jerusalem Gospel Rumba, a 10 piece Congalese band of singers, musicians and dancers, take to the Main Stage.

The fun continues with traditional Greek, Turkish, Burmese and Iranian dances and a special performance by the Sudanese, Dambai Dance Group celebrating the forming of the Republic of South Sudan on 9 July.

Haunting sounds of young Afghan musicians will fill the air before Mexican dancers and Torito the mechanical bull charge across the stage for the red rag dance.
Bathed in the glow of Light Hearts -13 metre high lighting sculpture by Bruce Ramus, the Indian community will present a spectacular finale involving participants from each community.

Light Hearts will form the bustling hub of the celebration with Indian henna, a Mexican sacred healing space, projections by Chilean artist Paulina Campos and Japanese origami nestled alongside stalls with warming cups of Chilean hot chocolate and apple tea, Mexican fruit punch, Turkish delights and Afghan halwa.

 Under the artistic direction of Robyn Archer, The Light in Winter is a month long celebration of light and community with free light-themed exhibitions, workshops, artworks, forums and film screenings as well as the much loved Solstice Celebration.
THE LIGHT IN WINTER – 2 June – 3 July /

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