13, December 2022
Culture Forager Vol. IV - The Solstice Edition
Welcome to Culture Forager Vol. IV – the winter solstice edition. For millennia, the winter solstice has been marked as a time of rest, reflection and rebirth. It’s also an opportunity to be grateful for Nature, something we’re on board with all year round. Enjoy this special selection of cultural goodness, handpicked to help you find calm and gratitude on the shortest day of the year.
THE SUNRISE CELEBRATION
For around 5000 years, Stonehenge has been the original place to witness the solstice sunrise. If you’re not near Wiltshire, you can watch English Heritage’s live stream of the main event from the comfort of home. Rather be outdoors? We hear you. The sunrise is best viewed from a high point or hill, but any walk in Nature at this time of year is a treat.
Outdoor swimming isn’t for everyone, especially in the depths of winter. But in the spirit of renewal, many hardened bathers enjoy a (very) refreshing dip to mark the solstice. You should be accustomed to cold water to do this safely, and only attend an organised swim, like this one at Alderford Lake in Shropshire. Alternatively, slip into a heated lido, such as scenic Hathersage Pool in the Peak District.
THE RELAXATION PRACTICE
Yoga Nidra means ‘yogic sleep’. It’s a state of deep, conscious relaxation, achieved through guided meditation – perfect for finding stillness this solstice. There are plenty of options on YouTube, like this one by Ally Boothroyd. If you prefer your restorative yogic experiences in person, search for dedicated solstice classes in your area.
‘Disappear into the music of the mountains of the Mediterranean and the foothills of the Himalayas’ at this immersive concert produced by South Asian Arts-uk and Opera North. Featuring a collaboration of international folk musicians and visuals of winter mountains and infinite stars, it promises to be a ‘soulful and stirring’ experience.
7pm, 21st December, Howard Assembly Room, Leeds. Tickets £10.
A comforting blanket of a memoir, Wintering by Katherine May explores the need to retreat in the darker periods of life. The Sunday Times bestseller is an ode to Nature and its ability to heal us even on the coldest, dullest days. Part-investigation, part-meditation, it’s a reminder that brighter seasons are never far away.