Unlike Christmas in the southern hemisphere which has us tucking into hearty winter feasts in summer and decking the halls with fake snow spray paint, we actually get to celebrate midwinter at the seasonally appropriate time of year. Loemis Winter Solstice Festival is just the quirky winter pick-me-up we all need, with feasts, theatre, music, a fiery waterfront procession and some, er, monsters.
There's a mixture of free and ticketed events with something to lure even the most reluctant Wellington bear out of their Netflix cave. There's a guided nocturnal hunt for a mythical beast in the Aro Valley bush, and an opportunity to dress up in 1920s garb and watch a vintage silent horror film with live narration and new musical score by Wellington musicians.
A festival highlight will be a two-night Feast designed by chef Laura Field of Field & Green featuring four courses of Nordic-inspired food (think Swedish meatballs) served banquet style. There'll also be a cash bar serving special edition beers by Garage Project and plenty of live literature and theatre to add to the merriment.