Loemis Festival 2021
Celebrate the transition to brighter, longer days at this two-week winter solstice festival.
After being stripped back to a pair of events in 2020, Wellington's Lōemis Festival is back for winter with a full program of events from 5–21 June. The winter solstice is marked by the shortest day and longest night of the year and has often been associated with regeneration, rebirth and self-reflection. Lōemis typically sees various ritualistic events, including spooky storytelling and the burning of a massive effigy, take place in various locations across the city.
This year you can take part in after-dark hikes with an expert biologist, hunter, theorist, psychologist and conservationist; catch an immersive theatre experience or four brand-new dance works; head to a choral celebration of French poet and composer Guillaume de Machaut complete with shadow puppetry; and witness two radio plays come to life with music, narration and foley.
Food is big on the agenda, too. The Begonia House is hosting a multi-course dinner based entirely around plants with Field & Green's Laura Greenfield and Max Gordy of Hillside Kitchen; Lucas Putnam, head chef at Boquita, will unlock some of the secrets behind making tacos, margaritas and Mexican-style hot chocolate; and over at Garage Project's Wild Workshop head brewer Pete Gillespie will talk through some of the brewery's rarer beers and how they were created.
It all comes to an end on Monday, June 21 as the fifth annual Winter Solstice Procession takes off from the Te Papa forecourt. The roaming event will feature a brass band, fire artists, a giant puppet and many discoveries. Ērthe, an effigy built out of discarded materials by Luke Scott, Leda Farrow and an army of helpers, will have notes pinned to it across the festival. These notes will go up in flames on the night of the procession, instead of the sculpture itself.
Image: Simeon W.