Saturday the 24th of June was the shortest day of the year and to celebrate a group of dedicated volunteers supported by the Dunedin City Council turned the octagon into a midwinter themed carnival.
This isn’t the sort of thing I usually document but it was a beautiful experience and I wanted to share it for anyone who didn’t get a chance to go.
The sheer amount of people packed into the octagon was staggering. It seemed like half of dunedin had turned out. In reality it was around 15,000 people, which is still an especially impressive number for a cold winters night.
Braziers were set up in key locations and stoked regularly by volunteers to ensure warmth was available for those who sought it, and a variety of nourishing refreshments were on sale such as mulled wine and hangi.
Somewhat disappointingly there was no firework display to cap off the evening this year because of an incident at New Years where a man was severely injured by fireworks debris. Until Worksafe NZ have finished investigating this incident all DCC run fireworks displays understandably have to be put on hold.
The procession itself was the highlight of the evening, a splendor of sight and sound where beautifully crafted lanterns, lit by safe and efficient LED lights, came alive as they were paraded around the octagon.
Wonderwall some photos.