The best celebration time in Australia!
You may be thinking is Litha Christmas or is it a New Year celebration? This is probably the best time to use the great Aussie phrase of “yeh nah”. Litha is neither Christmas/Yule or the new year, it just happens to land around that time and not because of it being a Southern Hemisphere thing.
Litha (pronounced Lith-Ah), also known as Midsummer, is the Summer Solstice celebration. This marks the longest day of the year and is a time of great joy and strength. It is a powerful time when both Mother Nature and the Sun are at their fullest.
Before we go any further, I’m going to try and clear some things up.
Christmas is not Yule and Yule is not Christmas. Christmas is a Christian celebration of those particular days and not reliant on the season. On the other hand, Yule is a seasonal celebration that lands in Winter, which works fine for those in the Northern Hemisphere but not for those of us down south. So to say merry Yule to an Aussie when its summer, it just doesn’t work, just say happy holidays or Blessed Midsummer to you.
So when is it?
Traditionally, it’s from the 19th to the 22nd of June, in the Northern Hemisphere. In the South, however, lands around Christmas time, from the 20th to the 23rd of December.
Some might see this as a bad thing, but I personally see it as a good thing. It’s public holidays galore, everyone is merry and celebrating with family. And the best part? If you haven’t come out of the “broom closet” yet, you can celebrate Litha under the guise of all the Christmas parties and New Year celebrations. A good ol invisibility spell never hurt anyone!
As an Australian Pagan, from the mid of December till the New Year, it’s one massive party, and clean up. Both kids and adults run amok, eating and drinking merrily whilst trying to stay cool in our blistering summer heat.
What to do on Litha
Traditionally, bonfires were lit and leapt over for prosperity and most everyone stayed awake for the short night. Mead was drunk, flower crowns made, candles lit and tables full of food for consumption. We can do almost all of the traditional festivities besides anything fire related. For starters, there’s always a complete fire ban and then there’s blistering heat!
Instead of burning candles, bonfires and cauldrons full of soups, and assuming there’s no water restrictions in place, I found having everyone jump over the sprinkler in their bathers to be just as uplifting. Drinking juice, refreshing alcoholic drinks and tables covered in foods that can be eaten cold!
This is a time of nurturing, love and giving thanks for all that has happened!
Other things to do:
Make some flower crowns
Decorate your home in colours of white, green and red
All forms of love magic
Start collecting your herbs to dry out
Many of things listed are a combination of traditional northern hemisphere associations and Australian associations. Your country may not have things like Ruby Salt bush growing at this time.
Crystals and Gemstones
- Green Aventurine
- Lapis Lazuli
- Tiger’s Eye
- Bright Blue
Herbs, Fruits and Spices:
- Sturt Desert Pea
- Lemon Balm
- Citrus of all kinds
- Salt Bush
Get your party on!
Yeh, the Australian Midsummer is a little different with what we have growing, Christmas and what’s associated with the time, but the magic is still the same. So we don’t get fires and candles to burn because its 40+ degree Celsius, dry (or wet if you’re up top of Australia) and restrictions are in place, but it’s still the summer solstice! Go down to the beach for some powerful water magic, wake up at the crack of dawn to listen to the many Kookaburras and Magpies singing away! Celebrate the next couple of days with friends and family, stay cool and nurture all that need it.